Lincolnshire Police have had an increase in reported incidents of Land Rover Defenders being targeted for theft offences.
Traditional Land Rover Defenders are increasingly in demand since production ceased in 2016. The NFU confirm that by 2019 the cost of Defender theft increased by 34% to 2.1m, with stolen vehicles often being broken up for black market spares.
Here in Lincolnshire, since 1st April 2021, there have been 19 Defenders stolen and one attempted theft. In addition to this, 12 Defenders have been targeted specifically for parts.
Today, our Crime Reduction Tactical Advisor, Sally Picker, is highlighting what you can do to protect your Defender. Sally explained, “Sadly, these vehicles have increasingly become a target for criminals. We know that the impact of such a theft goes way beyond the financial loss. It can be hugely inconvenient, upsetting and frightening. So we wanted to provide information and advice to help you keep your defender safe.”
To make your Defender as secure as possible, please consider the following recommendations, ensuring you purchase good quality, wherever possible, secured by design products, or those tested to the appropriate recognised standard.
Alarms and immobiliser systems
Consider installing an accredited alarm, immobiliser, hidden battery isolation or fuel cut-off switch. Criminals often exploit known weaknesses in manufacturer fitted standard security systems. A professionally installed aftermarket product protects the vehicle further and reduces the risk of being targeted.
Consider fitting a Thatcham CAT5 approved multi-band (GPS /GSM/VHF) tracking system. Have it installed by a professional fitter and advertise it by displaying window stickers. Effective Thatcham CAT5 systems are expensive to install and have high annual fees. They also need robust locating networks in place to help in the recovery of stolen vehicles quickly.
Cheaper trackers outside of the CAT 5 category will not be as effective. They can be easy to compromise, and we do not recommend their use.
Marking your vehicle makes it more difficult to sell it on for its parts or hide its identity behind false number plates.
There are various marking systems for vehicles, ranging from glass engraving to full vehicle marking. Use systems approved by Thatcham or that comply with the requirements of Loss Prevention Certification Board for both Asset Marking Systems and databased registers.
Ensure that you advertise that your vehicle is marked and registered by displaying warning stickers on your windows to act as a deterrent.
Use your garage if you have one.
On private driveways, keep trees and shrubs maintained so you and your neighbours can see the vehicle from your properties.
Consider dusk till dawn lighting to illuminate the area.
Consider the use of motion activated CCTV which gives immediate notification to your phone of any suspicious activity.
Don’t leave your keys in the vehicle unattended. This includes on winter mornings while “warming up” the vehicle. Your insurance company is unlikely to compensate you if your vehicle is stolen in this situation.
Keep your keys out of reach and out of sight when at home. They are vulnerable to being snatched in sneak-in burglaries. Keys hung up or placed near front doors could be “fished” using a hook and wire fed through a letterbox.
With newer models ensure your key fob is safe to prevent relay attacks – use a Faraday bag/pouch.
Fit additional security devices such as a pedal box and a steering wheel lock which are visible to the criminal and act as a good deterrent. These items still have great value and offer you a good deal of protection at little cost.
To prevent parts being stolen from your vehicle (usually bonnets, doors and wings) additional security can be used:
bonnet release cable guards
full body bolt kits
security bonnet hinges
spare wheel locks
window guards and deadlocks.
If you have been a victim of crime and are in immediate danger, call us as soon as it is safe to do so on 999.