Leading rural insurer NFU Mutual is urging farmers and enthusiast owners to increase security measures as organised criminal gangs are scouring the countryside stealing iconic Land Rover Defenders.
“Unfortunately, Defender thefts have risen sharply again and we are heading back up towards pre-COVID levels,” said Rebecca Davidson, NFU Mutual Rural Affairs Specialist.
“Land Rover Defenders continue to be a target for thieves and every week farmers and enthusiast owners are waking up to find their precious Land Rovers gone – or stripped of bonnets, doors and wings,” she added.
“There’s a burgeoning black market for parts, with many of these beloved classics getting dismantled in driveways and farmyards, or being whisked away to chop shops.”
“We’re warning people in the countryside to be on high alert. Trackers, alarms and storing vehicles out of sight have all been effective measures protecting these British icons.”
NFU Mutual, which has insured thousands of classic Land Rovers from the days when the first Series I models appeared in the nation’s fields, is advising owners to use a combination of physical security and sophisticated electronic measures to protect their precious vehicles.
Top tips for securing classic Land Rovers:
- Keep the vehicle locked at all times when not in use
- Fit an accredited alarm for security and tracking device to locate your vehicle if stolen
- Fit a mechanical immobiliser such as a steering wheel or pedal lock
- Thieves will target component parts so consider marking them using a forensic marking solution or system
- Keep the vehicle in a lockable building or park in well-lit areas, which are overlooked
- Have the vehicle identification number etched on windows
- Consider fitting a hidden battery isolation or a fuel cut-off switch
- Take photographs of unusual features, modifications, damage or repairs which could aid identification if stolen
- Ensure any valuables are removed from the vehicle
- Don’t share information on social media which could indicate where Land Rovers are kept