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Police issue warning after spike in Land Rover Defender thefts

A spike in Land Rover Defender thefts has sparked a warning from police.


Alice   Singleton

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Alice   Singleton
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The increase in thefts is thought to be due to the Defender's new 'classic car' status
The increase in thefts is thought to be due to the Defender's new 'classic car' status

Theft claims have increased by 8 per cent in 2015 to £1.8 million according to NFU mutual.

 

The increase is thought to be due to the iconic vehicle stopping production in January this year.


Eight vehicles have been stolen from Lincolnshire alone in the past three months, with a further 14 cases reported of parts being stolen from the now ’classic’ car.

 

Security


Sally Picker, Lincolnshire’s crime reduction tactical adviser, said the incidents meant owners needed to be ’on their guard’.


Ms Picker said: "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."

 

Rural crime


Police in Somerset carried out stop check operations in March to help tackle a variety of rural crime issues.


In addition to this the police officers stopped a number of Land Rover Defenders in order to make sure they knew how to properly secure their sought-after vehicles.


Lincolnshire farmer and founder of Forage Aid Andrew Ward is appealing for information after his rare Land Rover Discovery was stolen containing vital farm paperwork and his MBE medal.


NFU Mutual’s annual rural crime report showed criminals cost the UK rural economy £42.5 million in 2015, up from £37.8m in 2014.

 

Classic car

 

NFU mutual’s rural affairs specialist, Tim Price said: “The driving force behind the rise in Defender thefts is its new ‘classic’ status after production ceased in January 2016.

 

“We urge all Defender owners to keep the vehicle in a locked building or out of site off the road side.”

 


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NFU Mutual’s top tips for securing 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
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