BMW is a luxury car brand that boasts of superb engineering and design. However, owning such an expensive vehicle has its downsides – one of which is the risk of getting stolen.
The sad truth is that car theft is prevalent nowadays. In fact, according to a report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, BMW ranks 8th on the list of most stolen cars in America.
This begs the question: are BMWs easy to steal?
Well, we’ve got some shocking revelations for you in this article. We’ll discuss some of the reasons why thieves find BMWs attractive targets, what makes them vulnerable, and how you can protect your precious ride from being swiped by sneaky criminals.
So buckle up and join us as we uncover the truth about BMW thefts!
BMWs are one of the most stolen cars
According to a study conducted by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), BMWs are among the top 10 most frequently stolen cars in the United States. In fact, the NICB found that there were over 4,200 reported cases of BMWs being stolen in 2018 alone.
This is concerning news for BMW owners and enthusiasts alike since it highlights just how easy it can be for thieves to make off with their prized possessions. However, understanding why BMWs are such a popular target for car thieves may help prevent these types of incidents from occurring.
Why BMWs are a popular target for thieves
One reason BMWs are particularly attractive to car thieves is because they tend to hold high resale value. This means that if a thief does manage to steal a BMW, they can often sell the car or its parts for a significant profit.
Beyond this, many BMW models come equipped with advanced technology like keyless entry systems that can be easily hacked by experienced thieves. Thieves can also use specialized devices to intercept signals emitted by key fobs, effectively tricking the car’s security system into thinking that the key is present even when it isn’t.
Additionally, some law enforcement officials believe that expensive luxury brands like BMW may be targeted more frequently due to organized crime activities. Groups involved in these types of criminal enterprises see luxury vehicles as an easy way to make money on the black market.
The high cost of BMW parts contributes to theft rates
An unfortunate reality of owning a BMW is that repairing and maintaining them can be quite costly. From complex engine components to advanced electronics, repairs on these vehicles can add up quickly and become prohibitively expensive for some owners.
While this may not seem directly related to car theft, the high cost of BMW parts and repairs can actually drive up the number of theft incidents. Many thieves target these vehicles specifically to strip them down for their valuable components, which can be sold on the black market for a hefty profit.
What to do if your BMW is stolen?
If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having had your BMW stolen, there are several steps you should take immediately to increase your chances of getting it back.
- Contact law enforcement: As soon as you realize your vehicle has been stolen, call the police and file a report.
- Contact your insurance provider: Let your insurance company know about the theft so they can begin processing your claim. Be sure to provide any necessary documentation or information they request.
- Track your vehicle: If your BMW is equipped with advanced tracking technology, use it to locate your vehicle’s whereabouts when possible.
- Spread the word: Post on social media, interact with local news stations and newspapers, put up flyers around town – do whatever you can to get the word out about your missing vehicle and enlist others to help you keep an eye out for it.
“BMW owners have sophisticated tastes that thieves tend to exploit.” – Frank Scafidi, National Insurance Crime Bureau spokesperson
The bottom line is that BMWs are among the most frequently stolen cars in the country due to their high resale value, advanced technology, and organized crime involvement. However, by understanding why these vehicles are targeted and taking proper precautions, BMW owners can lessen their risk of falling victim to car theft.
Thieves target specific models of BMWs
BMW vehicles have long been known for their luxury and performance. However, this also makes them a prime target for car thieves. Not all BMW models are equally vulnerable to theft, though. Thieves tend to focus on certain types of BMW cars due to their perceived ease of stealing and reselling.
BMW M series models are particularly vulnerable to theft
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the BMW M series is one of the most stolen luxury car brands in the United States. The reason behind this is that these models are high-performance sports cars with powerful engines that make them highly desirable among car enthusiasts and thieves alike.
In addition, many owners modify these cars with expensive upgrades, making them even more valuable and attractive targets for thieves looking to strip or sell the parts.
“The M series represents the top-of-the-line model from BMW, with top-rated performance, speed, handling, and horsepower,” says John Blevins, director of crime prevention at the NICB.
To protect your BMW M series vehicle from theft, experts suggest using common-sense measures such as parking in well-lit areas, installing security alarms, and immobilizer systems. Additionally, avoid leaving the keys inside the car or keeping them next to the front door where they can be easily stolen or copied.
Thieves target older BMW models for their lack of security features
While newer BMW models come equipped with advanced security technology features, such as keyless entry, engine immobilizers, and tracking devices, older models may not have these modern safeguards in place.
The NICB reports that older BMW models like the 3-Series, X5, and 7-Series are popular among car thieves since they lack keyless entry and other security features that can prevent hot wiring. In addition, older BMW models are often left unlocked or with windows open, making them easy targets for snatch-and-grab thefts.
“Newer vehicles have much more advanced technology than older ones,” says Frank Scafidi, director of public affairs at the NICB. “As cars get older, the more vulnerable they become.”
To reduce the risk of having your older BMW car stolen, experts recommend upgrading to newer models or retrofitting older cars with additional security systems such as steering locks, alarms, and tracking devices.
Owning a BMW is an exciting experience that comes with its risks, especially regarding car theft. However, by taking simple precautions such as parking in well-lit areas, installing security alarms and immobilizers, and keeping your vehicle’s keys safe, you can minimize the chances of falling victim to car-related crimes. Furthermore, understanding which BMW models are most vulnerable to theft will enable you to make informed decisions when buying, insuring, and protecting your luxury car investment.
BMW’s keyless entry system vulnerability
Car theft is always a concern for car owners, and BMWs are no exception. With the advent of advanced technologies, cars have become more secure. However, newer security features also mean new vulnerabilities. One such vulnerability in BMW cars is its keyless entry system.
How criminals use relay attacks to steal BMWs
Criminals can exploit the weakness of BMW’s keyless entry system using a technique called a “relay attack.” These attacks involve the use of two radio devices: one device is used to amplify the signal from the car keys inside the owner’s home, while the other device is used to capture this amplified signal outside the victim’s house near the car.
The thieves first scan the vicinity for eligible BMWs with modern electronic key fobs capable of remote unlocking via wireless data transfer. They will then proceed to break into the targeted vehicle and place their gadgets nearby on the door handle or somewhere closer to the cabin. The stolen information will allow the criminals to start the engine without using keys, meaning they can drive away in the hijacked BMW within seconds.
“The thief’s arm can be several meters away from the actual target (e.g. pocket). In fact, with an appropriate antenna it would be enough if the potential victim has his/her bag in proximity,” writes ADAC, a German automobile association that conducted tests on 24 different vehicles from 19 manufacturers earlier this year concerning over-the-air hack prevention. “One team is standing next to the car, whilst the team member holding the transmitter is as much as four metres away – far beyond the owner’s expected range when activating the locking system.” -Neil King Euro Weekly News columnist-
Why BMW’s keyless entry system is susceptible to hacking
BMW’s keyless entry system works by sending signals between a key fob and car. Hackers or criminals can intercept these signals using relatively cheap tools available in the market. Moreover, BMW’s security algorithms that encrypt these signals are weak – making them easily hackable.
If an attacker gains access to your car via a relay attack, they could then steal the vehicle itself or rummage through it to find other valuable property. Additionally, an attacker gaining access will startle even if no one is hurt since afterward the owner must wait for several weeks (and spend thousands of Euros) until he gets his expensive gadget back from investigators.
What BMW is doing to address the keyless entry system vulnerability
BMW has acknowledged the vulnerabilities of its keyless entry system and is working on addressing them. The company plans to introduce new security features starting with newer models. Some of these include implementing ultrawideband technology and ensuring greater receiver-sensitivity designed to minimize signal manipulations. In addition, BMW users should apply countermeasures like keeping their keys up high while at home and parking away from others and physical barriers such as walls wherever possible.
“One potential solution is passive AWD disarm systems: Active devices for disarming the immobilizer can be placed onboard near the steering column or door mast switches,” says Marc Weber Tobias, “Defense specialists where all actions necessary to disarm or clear codes are authorized exclusively by the transmission of low-power near-field communication signals to keep cars secure.” Still, any improvements made regarding securing car unlocks, remains only temporily effective since thiefs techniques tend to progress faster than manufacturers come up with upgrades which thieves simply just copy. -Marc Weber Tobias Security researcher-
BMW’s poor security features
Why some BMW models lack basic security features
Despite BMW being well-known for its luxury vehicles, their security features have been found lacking in recent years. One reason for this is that some models were designed with outdated security systems and technology. Some older models, especially those built before 2016, are equipped with standard remote keyless entry systems that use a rolling code system which can easily be hacked by thieves.
Additionally, many newer BMW models do not come standard with some basic security features, such as alarm systems or GPS tracking devices. Instead, these features must be installed after purchase at an additional cost to the owner. This has left some owners vulnerable and exposed to theft or vehicle-related crime.
How BMW’s poor security features contribute to theft rates
The lack of proper security features in BMW vehicles has contributed significantly to car theft rates. According to reports, BMWs are one of the most frequently stolen cars globally and it’s believed that the outdated security features are partly responsible for this figure.
In addition to the ease of hacking the remote keyless entry system on older vehicles, thieves also target newer BMWs due to their high resale value. With no alarms or GPS tracking systems on board to deter thieves, stealing a BMW can be accomplished with relative ease.
What BMW owners can do to improve their car’s security
One way BMW owners can enhance their car security is by replacing remote entry systems with more advanced ones like biometric, facial recognition or fingerprint scanning systems. By upgrading, the probability of having your car stolen becomes less prevalent as only authorized users will be able to enter it. Additionally, installing relevant apps on your phone may also provide additional security functionality that uses technologies that complement what’s already in place like geofencing, which can send alerts if your BMW has been moved outside a set geographic location.
Owners of newer models are advised to consider installing aftermarket alarm systems or GPS tracking devices as they offer additional layers of security. This is particularly helpful when parking the car overnight at home or at work and also provides peace of mind that the vehicle can be recovered should it get stolen.
Why BMW’s reputation for luxury has made them a target for theft
The high-end perception of BMW vehicles has made them a prime target for thieves globally. Many individuals have an unrealistic notion of owning a premium and luxurious automobile and will go to great ends to achieve this dream without going through the appropriate financial channels to own one. Moreover, these perceptions – combined with a lack of robust anti-theft measures – exacerbate the temptation to steal them significantly.
“The higher cost, desirability and perceived prestige associated with many makes may make them targets for car thieves,” says Lynda Kiernan, editor of Auto Theft Expert.
Thieves know that stolen BMW cars can easily fetch good money on the black market, making them worth the risk of stealing. Criminals may also dismantle the cars and sell off the parts individually, earning more profit than selling the car as-is.In conclusion, BMW owners need to be proactive about protecting their vehicles from theft by taking advantage of better security features available in the market. Upgrading your vehicle with more advanced entry systems, alarms and GPS tracking services constitutes a sound investment that will undoubtedly increase the longevity of your beloved BMW while ensuring its safety and security at all times.
Ways to protect your BMW from theft
If you own a BMW, you may be wondering if it is vulnerable to theft. Unfortunately, luxury cars like BMWs are often targets for car thieves due to their high value and high demand in the black market. In fact, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, BMW was ranked as the 5th most stolen vehicle in the United States in 2019.
Install a GPS tracking device
One way to protect your BMW from theft is by installing a GPS tracking device. A GPS tracker allows you to monitor your car’s location in real-time, making it easier to recover the vehicle if it gets stolen. This technology can be especially helpful if you live in an area with high crime rates or if you frequently park your car in unattended areas.
There are many different types of GPS trackers available on the market. Some popular options include plug-and-play devices that connect directly to the OBD port, hardwired units that require professional installation, and portable units that can be easily moved between vehicles. Some GPS trackers even offer additional features like geofencing, which sends alerts when the vehicle enters or leaves a specified area, or remote engine shut off, which allows you to disable the car’s ignition remotely.
“A GPS tracker can be a huge help in locating a stolen BMW quickly before any damage is done.” -Tom Litchford, Vice President of Member Engagement at the National Retail Federation
Use a steering wheel lock or other anti-theft devices
In addition to GPS trackers, there are many other anti-theft devices available that can help deter would-be thieves. One simple yet effective option is a steering wheel lock. These locks attach to the steering wheel and prevent it from being turned, making it difficult for a thief to drive away with the vehicle. Other popular anti-theft devices include car alarms, immobilizers, and theft deterrent decals.
When choosing an anti-theft device, it is important to look for one that is highly visible and difficult to remove. Thieves are less likely to target a car that has obvious security measures in place, so look for products that come with bright colors or warnings to deter criminals.
“A visible deterrent, such as a steering wheel lock or car alarm system, can help discourage thieves from trying to steal your BMW.” -Ted Roberts, Manager of Public Relations at AAA
Avoid parking in high-crime areas
Finally, one simple way to protect your BMW from theft is by avoiding parking it in high-crime areas. This includes neighborhoods with high rates of property crime, commercial areas with low lighting and limited surveillance, and public spots like train stations or shopping centers where cars may be left unattended for long periods of time.
If you must park your BMW in a less-than-ideal location, try to choose a spot that is well-lit and visible to others. Park close to well-trafficked areas and avoid leaving valuables inside the car, which may attract unwanted attention from potential thieves.
“One of the easiest ways to prevent car theft is by taking steps to avoid being a target. Avoid parking your BMW in areas with known high-crime rates.” -Amber Keefer, Freelance Writer and Expert on Car Insurance and Safety
- To wrap things up:
- BMW cars can be attractive targets for thieves due to their high value and popularity.
- There are many different tools and techniques available to help protect your car, including GPS trackers, anti-theft devices, and smart parking habits.
- By taking these steps to safeguard your BMW, you can help reduce the risk of theft and enjoy greater peace of mind when driving on the road.
What to do if your BMW is stolen?
Report the theft to the police immediately
If you are a victim of auto theft, the first and most important thing you need to do is report the incident to the police. This will increase your chances of recovering your vehicle and could also help prevent other crimes from happening in the future.
When reporting the theft, be sure to provide as many details about your car as possible, such as its make, model, color, license plate number, and any unique features that may distinguish it from others on the road. The more information you can give the authorities, the better chance they have of identifying and locating your vehicle.
In addition to contacting your local police department, you should also consider filing a report with the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), which maintains a nationwide database of stolen vehicles.
Contact your insurance company to file a claim
If you have comprehensive coverage on your BMW, your insurance policy should cover the cost of replacing or repairing your car if it is stolen. You will need to contact your insurance company as soon as possible to file a claim and begin the process of getting reimbursed for your loss.
Before calling your insurer, gather all the documentation related to your policy and the theft itself. This includes your insurance card, registration papers, police report, and any receipts or photos that can prove the value of your car and any equipment or accessories that were inside at the time of the theft.
Your insurance agent will guide you through the claims process and help you complete the necessary paperwork. They may also ask you to answer some questions about the circumstances surrounding the theft and provide them with additional details about your car’s condition and history.
“In 2018, nearly $7 billion worth of cars were stolen in the U.S., with an average loss per theft of $8,400.” -National Insurance Crime Bureau
While having your car stolen can be a traumatic experience, it’s important to stay calm and take these steps as soon as possible. By acting quickly and following the proper procedures, you can increase your chances of recovering your vehicle and minimizing the financial impact of the theft.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are BMWs more likely to be stolen than other car brands?
Yes, BMWs are one of the most commonly stolen car brands. Their high value and popularity make them a target for thieves. In fact, the BMW 3 Series is one of the most stolen cars in the US.
What security features do BMWs have to prevent theft?
BMW has a range of security features to prevent theft, including immobilizers, alarms, and keyless entry systems. Many models also have GPS tracking and remote locking capabilities. Some newer models also have facial recognition technology and fingerprint scanners.
Are certain models of BMWs more vulnerable to theft than others?
Yes, some models of BMWs are more vulnerable to theft than others. The BMW 3 Series, 5 Series, and X5 are among the most commonly stolen models. These models are often targeted due to their popularity and high resale value.
Can thieves easily bypass the keyless entry system on BMWs?
Thieves have been known to use signal relay devices to bypass the keyless entry system on some BMW models. However, newer models have added security features to prevent this type of theft. It’s important for BMW owners to be aware of this risk and take precautions to protect their vehicles.
What steps can BMW owners take to protect their vehicles from theft?
BMW owners can take several steps to protect their vehicles from theft, including parking in well-lit areas, installing a tracking device, and using a steering wheel lock. It’s also important to be aware of any suspicious activity and report it to the police.
Are BMWs more expensive to insure due to their theft risk?
Yes, BMWs are often more expensive to insure due to their high theft risk. However, the cost of insurance can vary depending on the specific model and the driver’s personal factors, such as their age and driving history.