- 9 Jan 2017 8:00 AM
According to the latest available police data, 2,400 vehicles were stolen in 2015 compared with 7,500 in 2006. One reason for the decline is that an anti-theft police department has been investigating thefts independently since 2014.
But another is that some former car thieves have spied an opportunity in the migrant crisis to switch to trafficking people.
Hungary does not see great demand for high-value luxury cars since most of the cars end up in illegally operated crap yards and their parts are sold on.
Cars are not easily tracked down, and only one-fifth of stolen vehicles were recovered in the first part of 2016, according to the national police headquarters (ORFK).
Thieves especially go for models by Ford, VW, Skoda, Opel, Renault, Suzuki and Toyota, followed by BMW, Audi and Honda.
In the capital, the majority of cars are taken from Zugló and Kelenföld, while the safest parts of Budapest are Józsefváros, the city centre and the castle district.
Republished with permission of Hungary Matters, MTI’s daily newsletter.