By Jonathan McCambridge, PA
Gardaí have issued a warning over an increase in car theft.
Garda statistics show that more than 4,000 vehicles were reported stolen in 2022, a 52 per cent increase on 2021 and 17 per cent increase on 2019.
An Garda Síochána said the rise was driven by the theft of second-hand imported cars from outside the European market, which may be due to the lack of security features in the most commonly stolen imported vehicles.
For instance, many second-hand imports do not have a fully fitted car alarm system or are without a fitted immobiliser which makes them vulnerable to hot-wiring.
Sergeant Mark Bolger, of the Garda National Crime Prevention Office, said: “Car theft especially that of second-hand imported vehicles is on the rise. Car buyers and owners can take actions to decrease the risk of the theft of their vehicle.
“Cars imported from international markets are not automatically manufactured with the same security features as cars manufactured for the European market.
“We urge buyers and owners of vehicles to confirm the security features of import vehicles, especially to check if there is an in-built immobiliser and to consider additional security options.”