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Thefts of the Land Rover Defender have spiked following the end of the iconic vehicle’s production in February 2016.

 
Theft claims have increased by 8 per cent in the 2014-2015 period.
Theft claims have increased by 8 per cent in the 2014-2015 period.
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Owners called to ramp up security after surge in thefts of Land Rover Defender

Defender owners urged to step up security measures

Owners of the vehicle have been urged to ramp up security measures to reduce the risk of theft following an 8 per cent increase in claims costs over the 2014/15 period – taking the total to £1.8 million.

NFU Mutual rural affairs specialist Tim Price said thieves were aware ’how easy’ they were to steal, meaning they were able to break them down and export the parts relatively quickly.

He urged owners to keep the vehicles locked in a building out of sight.

He said: "The level of thefts has increased and we are likely to see another big jump, especially in the livestock area of the countryside and leisure land areas in remote settings.

"The problem is the Defender was never designed with security in mind. Now that they are out of production and have ’classic’ status thieves are finding a ready market for vehicles and spares."

Top 5 regions of Land Rover Defender theft claims 2015

 

It came as a father and his two sons were found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to steal Land Rover’s and other agricultural machinery between July 7 2015 and January 5 2017.

Exeter Crown Court heard the gang usually struck overnight at unattended farm buildings across Devon and Cornwall and have since racked up at least £200,000 worth of goods during 28 raids.

Prevention

Mr Price said the worst hit areas covered the North East, Midlands and the North West, with the Yorkshire Dales being a particular robbery 'hotspot'.

NFU mutual urged Defender owners to take steps to increase vehicle security: including only buying car parts from established dealers to help prevent short-circuit thefts.

Where possible, Mr Price encouraged owners to also try to keep their Defender locked up in buildings or off the road where they are out of sight.

He added: “Owners should also look to fit after-market security such as improved locks and an old fashioned crook wheel lock which acts as a good deterrent.”

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