Pick the car most likely to be stolen in Canterbury. Chances are, you’re way off.
Mazda is proud of the Demio – so proud they brag about how popular it is on their website.
They’re not wrong. The Mazda Demio is also the favourite for car thieves in Canterbury, despite its reputation as the kind of car elderly folk drive.
Over the past four months, police in Canterbury have noticed an increase in the number of Mazda Demios being taken.
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The supermini is the most stolen vehicle in the district and, according to police, it’s a trend that is happening in other parts of New Zealand. Area prevention manager acting Inspector Paul Reeves said 29 Demios were stolen from January 1 to February 24. They were commonly stolen from Linwood and the central city.
The Demio is known for its reliability and fuel efficiency rather than its good looks and speed. Reeves said there could be a logical explanation for why they were being stolen. “Offenders see these vehicles as an easy target and believe police will not take a second look at them, which is not the case.”
Praneel Lal had her Demio stolen in Mt Pleasant in February. She was surprised because she did not think it was the kind of car that was likely to be stolen.
“Everyone pays it out and calls it a ‘grandma’s car’.”
When police found it and brought it to a tow yard she was surprised to see five or six other Demios in the yard.
“They were all broken into the same way. They broke into the back window.
“Then the police called me as a follow up and told me it’s one of the most stolen cars. It would have been great to know that when I bought it.”
Lal’s car appeared to have been hot-wired. There was a wine bottle and potato chips strewn through the vehicle.
She was was covered by insurance and recently bought a car that had a keyless ignition, she said.
Reeves advised car owners to fit their vehicles with immobilisers and steeling wheel locks and, where possible, park securely at all times.
TOP FIVE STOLEN VEHICLES IN CANTERBURY:
1. Mazda Demio 2. Subaru Impreza 3. Subaru Legacy 4. Mazda Familia 5. Nissan Primera