A huge crime wave is hitting the UK and the Land Rover Defender is the number one target, with some believing they’re being stolen to order for the export market.
Yorkshire-based CCTV.co.uk spokesman Jonathan Ratcliffe said, ‘Virtually every community in the county has been visited by these criminals, and according to official figures, the classic Defender is high on their shopping list.’
Figures published by the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NVCIS) show the Land Rover Defender as one of the top 10 stolen cars nationally, along with the Audi S3 and the Range Rover. The NVCIS has also warned that while the tried-and-test method of stealing the car keys from the hall table and simply driving the car away remains a popular choice among opportunist thieves, organised criminal gangs are increasingly using sophisticated electronic tools to bypass vehicle security systems.
‘With the humble Defender, you don’t even need the vehicle key – with keys from older vehicles working in door locks and ignitions. A friend of ours managed to enter and start a 02 plate Defender with a key from another vehicle – it’s crackers. Your car can quite literally be gone in 60 seconds.’
To fight back, police have advised drivers to use a high-quality steering wheel and gear stick locks, consider a lock cover for the car diagnostics port to prevent keyless theft, use the best quality alarm system available, and park in your garage if you have one.