Theft warning on Land Rovers
Jun 14 2008 by nick lavigueur, Hudd Sat
LAND ROVERS are being stolen at a rate of more than one a week, the Express & Chronicle can reveal.
Startling police statistics show 37 Land Rovers have disappeared from the streets of Kirklees in the first 23 weeks of 2008 – 31 from the Huddersfield district and six from Dewsbury.
A police spokesman confirmed most of the thefts were from the Colne and Holme Valleys and the region around Kirkburton and Denby Dale, with the Defender model being the most commonly targeted.
The spokesman also highlighted that many of the vehicles were vulnerable to cross-border raids from Greater Manchester and Sheffield due to their out-lying locations.
He said: “A lot of those 31 will be from the valleys because they are used on farms and on the tops where they’re needed for getting around in the bad weather.
“It’s fair to say the Defenders and the older Discoveries don’t have the most modern security systems or immobilisers.”
The British built 4x4 vehicle remains popular with farmers and people living in the countryside for its large 3.5 tonne towing and off-road abilities, despite its archaic design and inferior security features.
Mark Griffiths, sales manager for the Land Rover Centre in Lockwood agreed that the older Defender models lacked advanced security features but said it was easy for motorists to prevent the thefts with the purchase of a simple disc-lock or by not leaving the engine running when they were away from their vehicle.
The Land Rover Centre doing lots of valuations for insurers because of the rash of thefts
But he admitted that the centre had been doing a lot of valuations for insurers because of the rash of thefts.
He said: “There was a spate of alloy wheels going missing a year or so ago. Nobody knows where they are going but there’s three reasons why Land Rovers are getting stolen.
“One is to order – to be shipped abroad. Two is to use as a “ringer” for a smashed up vehicle and the third is to break them up for spares. They’re quite valuable for parts and thieves use them as a big Meccano set.”
Honley based National Farmers Union (NFU) spokesman, Tim Coy, said he hadn’t realised the number was so high. “I will be bringing it to the attention of our members,” he added.
Earlier this year the Express & Chronicle reported on how a Colne Valley farmer left his Land Rover and trailer of 15 sheep to open a gate, turned round to find it being driven off by an opportunist thief. Neither the vehicle nor trailer of sheep were ever seen again.