The UK’s top 10 postcodes for car theft have been identified – with a Ford Fiesta in Leicester the most likely target.
The LE2 postcode, covering just part of the East Midlands city, is top of the table with 342 thefts recorded by police last year.
The list, obtained in a Freedom of Information request to the DVLA, puts the SL1 postcode in Slough, just down the road from Royal Windsor, in second place.
Fiestas are the most popular model for car bandits, followed by the VW Golf, Ford Focus and the Vauxhall Corsa.
But in affluent postcodes in parts of Aldershot, Hants, and Swindon, Wilts, the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery were the favourite steal.
While London remains the national hotspot for all auto crimes, including break-ins, the Sunday People data pinpoints exact localities where vehicles are stolen.
And they are nicked in huge numbers – one every seven minutes in the UK last year. That’s almost 75,000 – up 33% on 2019.
Other postcodes in the top 10 are in Darlington, Milton Keynes and Stockport. Expensive marques including Mercedes and Audis are targeted for export by gangs stealing to order for rich clients.
Remote control jamming technology has made it easier to get into cars with electronic locking.
Police and motoring associations warn drivers to park only in busier areas, preferably where CCTV cameras are visible.
Owners are also advised to park with wheels at an angle to make it more difficult for vehicles to be pushed or towed away.
The AA’s Luke Bosdet said owners should look out for clues to an area’s theft rate.
He said: “The place to go is local police Twitter, crime reports and local media. They act as an early warning for a possible spate of thefts so that owners can take preventative action.
“Put the car in a garage if you have one, alert neighbours and look out for any suspicious activity when walking the dog.”
■ Number of vehicles recorded as stolen by the police and noted on DVLA records by UK postcode area between January 1 and December 31, 2020.
Top ten postcodes / number
1. LE2 (Leicester) 342
2. SL1 (Slough) 285
3. SN5 (Swindon) 268
4. GU11 (Aldershot) 263
5. B25 (Birmingham) 256
6. MK14 (Milton Keynes) 252
7. SK3 (Stockport) 233
8. DL1 (Darlington) 225
9. SL3 (Slough) 192
10. L39 (Ormskirk) 177