The sharp rise in car crime in Vienna is being blamed on organized crime gangs from eastern Europe, in particular Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, Croatia and the Czech Republic, says the Austrian Times.

According to official statistics from the Federal Crime Office (BK) 1,240 cars were stolen in the city in the first five months of the year, an almost 80 per cent rise on the same period last year. BK spokesman Rubert Sprinzl claims that 60 per cent of all car thefts in Austria took place in Vienna, reports the Times.