Reversing camera thefts are on the rise again

A new spate of car crime is affecting vehicle owners, with thieves stealing the reversing cameras off BMW tailgates at night in London...

BMW reversing camera display

Thieves are stealing car reversing cameras in a new wave of thefts which is potentially costing victims thousands of pounds.

Criminals seem to be targeting mainly BMWs, with owners reporting thefts from various models, including the BMW 3 Series executive car, the BMW X3 large SUV, the BMW X5 luxury SUV and the BMW X6 coupé SUV. There have been reports of at least five overnight thefts from streets in the Kingston, Teddington and Wimbledon areas of London in the past month.

One X6 owner said his car’s boot release mechanism was broken by thieves so they could remove the camera, and thieves targeting a 330e plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model took the entire boot handle, which houses the camera.  

This is not the first time there has been a spate of BMW reversing camera thefts. In 2018, an X3 owner from Surbiton told us his camera had been stolen. When he took the car to his local dealership to have it repaired, the staff there said that his was one of 16 they had seen with a stolen rear-view camera in the previous six weeks. 

BMW X3 camera cover

Owners are being quoted up to £1200 to have the cameras replaced, and some have said they will have to claim on their car insurance to cover the cost.

Many are concerned that if they do have the cameras replaced they will simply be stolen again, and one owner told us he had taken up his dealership’s offer of having a plastic panel fitted over the hole and doing without a reversing camera. The fix cost him £130 and prevents water from getting into the wiring. 

When contacted about the ongoing problem, BMW said: “Although we have not observed a recent increase in this type of crime being reported to us, we are aware of some cases.

“BMW works closely in partnership with police and other authorities in the UK to respond to the latest threats and anticipate new ones. The challenge evolves continually as organised criminals targeting cars become ever more sophisticated.

“BMW customers should feel reassured that their car is no more vulnerable to this kind of theft than with any other brand.”

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Next: Read our guide to keeping your car safe from thieves >>

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