Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Keep vigilant to prevent Land Rover thefts, says insurer

June 29, 2018 by  
Filed under News & Business

Land Rover Defenders are being stolen to order in a countryside crime wave which has seen vehicle thefts soar 14% since the iconic model went out of production in January 2016.

Farmers are finding Land Rovers stripped of parts such as bonnets and doors – or stolen altogether, according to rural insurer NFU Mutual. Thefts of executive cars and luxury 4x4s have also spiked, with a significant rise in stolen Range Rovers.

NFU Mutual, which works closely with the National Vehicle Intelligence Service (NaVCIS), has traced stolen Range Rovers worth more than £75,000 each. Some have ended up as far away as Africa and the Far East.

NFU Mutual vehicle specialist Clive Harris said: “Whether they’re compromising keyless technology or dismantling Defenders, thieves are deploying a range of tactics to feed demand for classic and modern 4 x4s from organised criminal gangs operating around the world.”

One of the most recent vehicles to be repatriated by NFU Mutual was a Range Rover Sport insured by the company and worth over £60,000. It was which was seized in Antwerp following an operation coordinated by NFU Mutual and NaVCIS.

Another recovery – of two Range Rovers covered with mattresses and worth over £100,000 – was made from a shipping container being prepared for export at the Suffolk port of Felixstowe.

Farmers and other rural residents were feeling increasingly vulnerable, said Mr Harris. “While insurance can cover the cost of theft, it does not account for the inconvenience and business interruption experienced,” he said.

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