A new campaign has been launched to help reduce the number of Land Rover thefts in Aylesbury Vale. The Love your Land Rover initiative, set up by the Aylesbury Vale Community Safety Partnership, aims to encourage owners to take simple steps to reduce the risk of their 4x4 vehicles being stolen. Over the past 12 months there has been a significant increase in Land Rover thefts - particularly older Defender models as they don't have the most modern security systems. The majority of thefts have taken place in rural areas with many on farm premises. It is believed the vehicles are being stripped down and the parts either sold in this country or exported. In light of these incidents owners are urged to be extra vigilant and ensure their vehicles are secure. The Community Safety Partnership strongly recommend the following measures; Always lock and alarm your Land Rover. Park in a locked garage or other locked secure area or in a well-lit open space or where there is passive lighting. Don't leave keys in the ignition or near the front door at home. Fit a transponder-based security marking system and tracker device and etch all windows with your vehicle identification number. If your Land Rover is over ten years old also fit an alarm and either fit an immobiliser or use a steering wheel lock??This crime prevention advice will be included in Country Watch packs distributed across Aylesbury Vale by local Thames Valley Police staff and the district council's community safety team. In addition, both John Dennis 4x4 on the Buckingham Road near Aylesbury and local NFU Mutual branches will distribute leaflets containing crime prevention advice when Land Rover owners have their vehicles serviced and when they apply for or renew their insurance. Key fobs and torches with crime prevention messages will be provided to the first 1000 Land Rover owners servicing their vehicles or obtaining insurance. As part of the campaign, Trafficmaster Limited will fit the 'Trackstar' tracker device to Land Rover and Range Rover vehicles over three years old locally at a reduced cost. Thames Valley Police will also pay 20 per cent towards the price of fitting a Datatag transponder based security marking system to Defender 90 and 110 models that are directly linked to a rural business.??Inspector Emma Garside, Neighbourhood Inspector for Aylesbury Vale said, 'Despite an overall decrease in the number of vehicles being stolen across Aylesbury Vale last year, we did see an increase in the theft of Land Rover vehicles in particular. I am grateful to the support we have received from John Dennis in supporting this initiative and hope that Land Rover owners will take on board the security and crime prevention advice being offered.'?She continued, 'Crime prevention campaigns such as this support other police operations which have been running across the Vale to target this problem. Trap vehicles have been deployed to catch offenders in the act. I'd warn any would be car thief to think twice before breaking into or stealing a vehicle in Aylesbury Vale as they may well find themselves being captured by a police trap car.'
Councillor Pam Pearce, Cabinet Member for Community Matters at Aylesbury Vale District Council, added, 'Aylesbury Vale is one of the safest places to live and worthwhile projects like these help keep vehicle crime rates low. Let's hope this new initiative will encourage Land Rover owners to take on board practical security advice and help police tackle this crime.'
For further information on the Love your Land Rover initiative call 01296 585014. If anyone has any information relating to Land Rover thefts or other crime, they should contact Thames Valley Police on 0845 8 505 505 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. ??Defender crime is a continuing national problem; in North Yorkshire thieves have put the public at risk by immobilising an off-road fire service vehicle. Thieves broke into Skipton Fire Station and stole the bonnet of a Land Rover Defender. The vehicle, clearly marked as an emergency vehicle, is now off the road until it can be repaired. Station manager Ben Cairns said until the vehicle was repaired, the service would have to rely on cover from Harrogate to reach out-of-the-way emergencies. 'This has caused disruption to the emergency services and to the people of North Yorkshire,' he said. Damage included the driver’s window being broken, occurred when the vehicle, emblazoned with North Yorkshire emergency service wording, was parked outside, next to the fire station, when it was vandalised. Mr Cairns said it was believed the bonnet, which was metallic red in colour and did not have any identifying marks, had been stolen either for scrap or to sell on. 'It is the only 4x4 vehicle we have to cover the Craven district and is used fairly frequently. We will have to call on Harrogate if we need to and, with the A59 being closed, that is going to be difficult. It is truly appalling and difficult to imagine that people could do something like this,' he said.
PC Andrew Ingram of Skipton Police appealed to anyone who may have seen any suspicious behaviour over the weekend close to the station to get in touch saying, 'I am absolutely appalled that anyone should target the emergency services in this way without regard for the potential consequences this could have on the safety of the people in North Yorkshire. Anyone with any information should contact PC Ingram of Skipton Police on 0845 60 60 247, incident number 105.
In North Wales thieves who stole a man’s Land Rover containing his mobile phone sent a string of upsetting texts to his family. One of the messages said he was planning to kill himself and another told them he had been in a car accident. Self-employed builder Dan Davis, had left the K-reg diesel Land Rover 90 Defender, which he spent months restoring, outside his home on the main road through Llantysilio, near Llangollen, on Sunday afternoon. It was stolen and the mobile phone he uses for work was inside the vehicle and shortly afterwards a text message was sent to his mother, Annie Davis, whose number was filed in the memory under ‘Mum’, saying 'Fed up with life going to kill myself.' A few minutes later another text came through saying, 'Been in a car crash sorry mum.'
Later in the afternoon Dan’s sister, Ruth Kelshaw, received a text which said, 'Have burnt it,' referring to the stolen vehicle.
Dan said. 'It’s pretty disgusting behaviour to send messages like this to your family after having stolen your vehicle. I know my mum, who was out to lunch with my dad at the time the message came through, was very upset when she thought it had come from me. Luckily, I have another mobile phone and they eventually got through to me and found out I was perfectly okay and was sitting at home. What is worrying is that Ruth wasn’t down in my contacts as my sister, so whoever sent the message to her must have known she was related to me.'
He added, 'I spent months rebuilding the Land Rover, putting in all kinds of new equipment, as I planned to take it on a trip to South Africa with some friends next year. Now I don’t know if that will happen. It’s red with large tyres and is quite distinctive. I’ve had it for about seven years and everyone around here knows it’s mine. In fact, just after it was a stolen a friend of mine told me they had seen it being driven through Llantysilio and, later, someone else said they had spotted it being driven towards Wrexham on the A483.'
The theft has been reported to North Wales Police.