After yet another spate of Land Rover Defender and quad bike thefts in the North Yorkshire area, Police are urging farmers to be more vigilant. During the Christmas period, thieves targeted Land Rover Defenders in the Boroughbridge, Coniston Cold and Drebley areas. Quad bikes were also taken from farms around Castleton, Goathland and Pickering.
The advise from the North Yorkshire Police is to always make sure vehicles are locked and alarms armed, fit an approved immobiliser, also garage vehicles where possible.
Each year Land Rover Defenders thefts from farms across the UK account for over 500 of the vehicles stolen, this figure is growing with a huge increase in thefts the past 12 months, largely due to the end of production of Land Rovers iconic 4×4.
Sally Picker, Lincolnshire’s crime reduction tactical adviser, said that due to the sharp rise in thefts of these types of vehicles, owners need to be on their guard:
“These incidents have taken place at both residential addresses and on farms and we need owners to be on their guard.
“If you have a Land Rover Defender, please make sure it is secure in a garage and is fitted with an alarm and tracking device.
“In some cases, thieves have still been able to make off with the vehicle or parts from it, but taking these measures significantly increases your chances of preventing a theft.”
Thefts are on the increase all over the country, Police forces have reported thefts of both Defenders and Quads in Avon & Somerset, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire, and Lincolnshire. Defenders are not safe in any area unless proper precautions are taken to protect the vehicles from thieves.
Owners of iconic Land Rover Defenders need to keep in mind that thieves will continue to target this model for parts, since it went out of production early last year and is now classed as a ‘Classic’.
The NFU Mutual’s released an annual rural crime report which revealed criminals cost the UK rural economy £42.5 million in 2015, a rise of over 4 million from the previous year, figures that will undoubtedly rise at a sharp rate.
NFU Advice To Protect Your Land Rover Defender:
- Fit a mechanical immobiliser such as a Thatcham approved steering or pedal lock
- Fit an alarm for added security and consider adding a tracking device
- Thieves will target component parts so consider marking them using a forensic marking solution or system
- Keep the vehicle in a lockable building or park in well-lit areas, which are overlooked
- Have the vehicle identification number etched on windows
- Consider fitting a hidden battery isolation or a fuel cut-off switch
- Take photographs of unusual features, modifications, damage or repairs which could aid identification if stolen
- Ensure any valuables are removed from the vehicle, including satnavs
Every piece of extra protection, Land Rover owners add to their vehicle makes it that bit harder for thieves to steal, however choose where you park very carefully, it is not uncommon for a Defender to be stripped on a street for bonnets and doors etc. Parts are in such demand that thieves even targeted Leicestershire Police force Land Rover, it was stripped of its bonnet and doors right outside the station! The 65 plate, valued at around £50,000 was loaned to the force by Sturgess Land Rover in a bid to help tackle rural crime ironically.