A group of friends from Harrogate in North Yorkshire, all of whom have been targeted by thieves, want to warn other drivers so that the same thing doesn’t happen to them. 'Some Defenders will be stolen to dismantle them for parts, others have been used in crimes, and then dumped somewhere,' said Simon Roberts, of Newnham Street Garage, who has noticed that around a dozen of his customers have had their cars stolen, particularly the Land Rover Defender 90. A Land Rover enthusiast, who is involved in off roading and trialling, he wants to make sure other owners are on their guard. 'There was one stolen in the Knaresborough area last week,' he said. 'It is still going on, we need to warn people.'
Dan Curston, of Eleanor Road, had his Land Rover stolen some time during the night of November 3. It was found abandoned in South Yorkshire 10 days later. 'They came in, opened a very noisy gate, disabled a security gate, pushed the vehicle out onto the road and hot-wired it there,' he said. 'I guess maybe two or three people must have been involved. They are bypassing security measures - shut gates don’t matter to them, lights don’t matter. Land Rovers are now going up in value, especially some of the older ones, as the parts are easily sold.'
In a Midlands town the Police have launched a poster campaign to try to stop thieves from targeting 4x4s. West Mercia Police are plastering Bromsgrove with 'Defend Your Defender' posters after a spate of Land Rover Defender thefts. Officers say at least seven vehicles have been taken since the New Year and they fear they are being stolen to order to be stripped for spare parts and distributed across the UK and overseas. In the latest incident a blue Defender, registration M73 PSS, was taken from outside a house in Middle Drive, Cofton Hackett, early on Wednesday, January 19. A spokesman for West Mercia Police said, 'Owners are urged to note any suspicious activity around their vehicles such as people hanging around or driving past slowly. They should ensure immobilisers and other devices are activated and park the vehicle in a garage or out of sight of the road if possible.'