Long beloved by crims needing diminutive dimensions for ram raids, the Mazda Demio has claimed the title of Auckland’s most stolen car over the past 12 months.
Inspector Trevor Beggs from the Tāmaki Makaurau Police confirmed that 825 Demios (locally badged as Mazda2s) have been stolen in the region. The subcompact edged the slightly larger Nissan Tiida, with 777 stolen.
The balance of the top five was filled by the Mazda Atenza/Mazda6 (364), Subaru Legacy (304), and the Subaru Impreza (243).
The Demio has been a specific target for Kiwi thieves for several years now as one of the country’s most ubiquitous Japanese imports. It made headlines in May following news of a social craze that had seen over 100 Mazdas get stolen in Taranaki in the first five months of the year.
Beggs says that, out of the 8500 cars stolen in Auckland so far this year, a credible 6900 have been recovered. He said that most cars are chosen specifically be thieves because they’re easy to steal. In the case of prolific imports like the Demio, Tiida, and Atenza, thieves target them because they often don’t come with immobilizers.
“These five vehicle models made up over 25 per cent of all vehicles stolen across Auckland in the past year,” Beggs said. “Some vehicle models are seen by offenders as being easier to steal than others, and these models are being specifically targeted
“The vehicles are often used to commit further offences and harm in our community. […] Many used imported second hand vehicles do not have factory fitted immobilisers, making them preferred targets for offenders.
“We always encourage vehicle owners to take simple steps to prevent their vehicles being taken, but owners of these particular models should be aware that their vehicles are the most frequently targeted and they need to take precautions.
“Vehicle crime tends to be opportunistic and offenders look for easy targets or quick gains if they see valuables left in vehicles. […] The solution is straight-forward; the more security measures you have in place, the harder it is for offenders to steal your vehicle and the less likely it is that you will be targeted.”