That more cars are stolen in the province of Alicante than anywhere else in Spain. Thirty eight cars a day are stolen from the public highways in the province – more than the number recorded in Madrid, Barcelona or Valencia. In 2008, courts in the province of Alicante dealt with nearly 14,000 cases involving vehicle theft – not only cars, but also lorries and motorbikes.
Statistics show that one in six vehicles stolen in Spain will have been taken in Alicante. Last year almost 80,000 were stolen an increase of 39 per cent over the year before. This compares to a rise of just 5.4 per cent in Spain as a whole during the same period. There has also been a notable increase of thefts from inside cars.
According to the association of Guardia Civil officers, the recession has been a major factor in the increase in car thefts. Most thefts of vehicles, or from inside vehicles, happen in large towns and cities, but police complain there is little they can do in the case of the latter. A theft valued at less than 400 Euros is classed as a ‘fault’ rather than a ‘crime’, meaning if the culprit is caught, he or she is immediately released.