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Land Rover Defender thefts rise following end of production

Latest figures from NFU Mutual show that, following the end of production of the iconic vehicle, claims costs for theft of Defender vehicles rose to £1.8m in 2015, an increase of 8% since 2014.

The region with the highest cost of Land Rover Defender thefts last year was the North East, followed by the Midlands, South East, East and the South West.

The firm said urges Defender drivers to consider fitting an after-market approved immobiliser and a tracking device if possible.

NFU Mutual is also advising owners to mark components with paint and to keep vehicles locked up or parked in well-lit areas. 

In response, TRACKER said police forces across the UK are reporting a rise in thefts, with many fearing that criminal gangs with links to the US and Eastern Europe are targeting owners.  

Adrian Davenport, police liaison manager for TRACKER, said: “Criminal gangs often target particular vehicles when demand increases and the Land Rover Defender is a popular vehicle all around the globe. Not surprisingly, since they’ve been discontinued, the Defender has risen to the top of the car thief’s hit list, with the northeast, southwest and the midlands reported to be where the highest number of insurance claims are being made.  

“Owners of Defenders tend to live in rural areas, so well-lit parking isn’t always possible, making it vital that people ensure they take ample security measures.   A tracking device won’t stop a car being stolen, but it can significantly increase the chance of police locating and returning a vehicle to its owners.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.