CAR thefts across Hampshire have shockingly risen by just under two thirds in the last three years.
New data provided by the RAC through Freedom of Information requests to police forces has shown that the number of car thefts across the county has risen by 59 per cent from 2013 to 2016.
The alarming statistic puts Hampshire second for the country's police forces in terms of the percentage increase in thefts over the three-year period.
Across the country, responses from 40 forces revealed that 85,688 vehicles were stolen last year, up 30 per cent from 65,783 in 2013.
RAC insurance director Mark Godfrey said: 'We fear thieves are becoming more and more well equipped technology capable of defeating car manufacturers' anti-theft systems.
'This is bad news for motorists as it has the effect of causing insurance premiums to rise at a time when they are already being pushed up by a variety of factors, not least the recent change to the discount rate for life-changing personal injury compensation claims and the rises in insurance premium tax.'
Mr Godfrey said that to combat in rise in car thefts, motorists are resorting to using anti-theft devices such as steering wheel locks to protect their vehicles.
'They are still a very effective visible deterrent', he said.
Warwickshire Police recorded the highest increase at 189 per cent, which was followed by Hampshire, then West Yorkshire at 57 per cent and Norfolk at 56 per cent.