North Yorkshire Police act to tackle string of Land Rover thefts across county

Police are stepping up action to tackle thieves after a string of Land Rover thefts in North Yorkshire, including one in Pickering.

By Carl Gavaghan, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Thursday, 19th November 2020, 9:54 am
Updated Thursday, 19th November 2020, 9:56 am

Their Defend your Defender campaign comes as they reveal 15 Land Rovers have been stolen from the country so far this year.

Ryedale and Craven were the worst-hit districts, with thieves often targeting vehicles in areas close to the A64 and A59.

In most cases, the Land Rovers were parked securely but stolen in hours of darkness.

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Drone image of the Land Rover stolen from Pickering.

Earlier this month, police arrested three men in connection with the theft of a Land Rover Defender from Pickering.

Officers used a drone with a thermal imaging camera to track down the stolen vehicle.

The three men have been released under investigation while enquiries continue.

Police are increasing patrols – in both marked and unmarked vehicles – and are urging owners to take extra security precautions.

Insp Matt Hagen, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Task Force, said: “In line with national trends, the theft of Land Rovers is an issue in our area and it’s concerning that incidents have increased recently.

“Land Rovers continue to be the workhorses of many farms and rural businesses – so when they are stolen or damaged it has a significant impact.

"That’s why it’s so important to check your security, and put in place extra measures to defend your Defender.

"Vehicle trackers in particular are invaluable, and can make all the difference in recovering a stolen vehicle and identifying suspects.

"We are making life as difficult as possible for criminals.

"Our patrols are proactively stopping and checking Land Rovers, and using ANPR technology to target suspicious vehicles linked to thefts.

Police say older models of Land Rover Defenders are highly valuable, due to the continuing popularity of the vehicle, and the ease of breaking them down into parts.

In particular, they are still in use on many North Yorkshire farms, thanks to their reliability and off-road capability.

They are urging Land Rover Defender owners to:

* Fit a vehicle tracking system

* Always leave your vehicle locked and alarmed if possible

* Park in a locked garage or other secure area if you have one, or in a well-lit open space if not

* Consider fitting an after-market approved immobiliser

* Never leave the vehicle’s keys in the ignition, in the same outbuilding as the vehicle, or near your front door inside your home

* Be vigilant when using your vehicle for anyone taking an interest in it

* Have the vehicle’s windows etched with the vehicle identification number

*Review your home and business premises security – consider CCTV, gates etc

* Residents are also asked to be vigilant, and report suspicious activity immediately.

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