Urban runabout 'the most stolen car in France'

A blue Smart Fortwo car

But BMW is the favourite marque for criminals, according to 40 millions d'automobilistes

The Smart Fortwo II is the most popular car in France - among the country's car thieves, according to figures revealed by driving lobby group 40 millions d'automobilistes.

The small urban runabout is the most stolen car in France between July 2016 and July 2017, the organisation revealed in a report published in Le Parisien.

Range Rover and Range Rover Evoque filled the second and third spots, followed by Ford Fiesta, Renault Clio 4 and Seat Leon. The Citroën DS3 Discoverable, Renault Twingo II and Renault Mégane 2 were also in the top 10.

BMW was the most-favoured marque among criminals, according to the figures collated by 40 millions d'automobilistes from experts Secure Car, with 11 models in the top 40 most-stolen cars.

According to the group, organised gangs target high-end vehicles in order to sell them abroad. They advised motorists to use the relatively low-tech but effective steering wheel locks to deter would-be thieves, who would otherwise be able to quickly and easily 'hack' into modern vehicles' electronic systems.

Le Parisien reports that 108,000 vehicles were stolen in France in 2016 - or one every five minutes. According to police figures, 73% of car thefts take place overnight - with 24% of crimes committed in the suburbs of cities, compared to 21% in city centres and 16% in rural communes.

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