How to prevent Land Rover Defender thefts

How to prevent Land Rover Defender thefts

Police in Lincolnshire have seen an increase in reports of Land Rover Defenders being targeted for thefts.

Traditional Land Rover Defenders are increasingly in demand since production stopped in 2016.

According to the insurer, the NFU, between then and 2019 the cost of Defender theft had increased by a third, with stolen vehicles often being broken up for black market spares.

In Lincolnshire, since April 2021, 19 Defenders have been stolen and there has been one attempted theft.

A dozen more Defenders have been targeted specifically for parts.

Crime reduction tactical advisor, Sally Picker, is highlighting what you can do to protect a Defender.

She said: “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.”

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 after-market product protects the vehicle further and reduces the risk of being targeted.

Tracking

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.

How to prevent Land Rover Defender thefts

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

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.

Parking

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.

Keys

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.

Physical security

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:

Report it

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.

If you discover that your vehicle has been stolen, report it by calling us on 101 or complete our online crime reporting form.

Crime Motors NewsSuzanne Moon