Warning for Harrogate's Land Rover owners after vehicles targeted by thieves

Police are urging Land Rover owners to be vigilant, after a series of thefts and attempted thefts, particularly in rural areas around Harrogate

By Brogan Maguire
Thursday, 11th June 2020, 4:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th June 2020, 4:12 pm

Owners are being warned that thieves may be targeting the distinctive vehicles, and the properties where they are parked.

On Thursday, June 4, a Land Rover Defender parked in Sutton-in-Craven was damaged in a suspected attempt to steal it.

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Land Rover owners are being targed by thieves across North Yorkshire, police say.

Later the same day, a few minutes before midnight, at a farm near Cononley, a black Land Rover was stolen from a drive. The owner heard the vehicle start and saw lights drive off in the distance.

On Sunday, June 7, at a farm north of Otley, the victim was woken at 2am by the sound of a car alarm. Suspects had clipped cables from a trailer attached to a Land Rover, in a possible attempt to steal a quad bike inside. The keys to the Land Rover had also been stolen from inside the property.

Suspects also broke into a property in the Ilkley area, and stole a large amount of jewellery on Monday, June 8. They took the keys and registration documents for a Land Rover Defender, alongside other vehicles. However, the Land Rover was secured by pedal locks, and was not stolen.

And on Wednesday, June 10, at about 3pm, a house was broken into in Harrogate, and property stolen. The victim’s Land Rover had been parked on the drive earlier, but at the time of the burglary it was in use and not there.

North Yorkshire Police are investigating these incidents, and urging all Land Rover owners to take extra precautions.

PC Liz Estensen, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “We are investigating these incidents, including whether they are linked. It is possible that thieves are deliberately targeting properties with Land Rovers parked outside. For that reason, it’s really important that all Land Rover owners, and especially those living in rural areas, take extra precautions to secure their vehicles.”

Owners of Land Rovers in North Yorkshire are being asked to follow this crime prevention advice:

◾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.

PC Estensen added: “It’s important that anyone who owns a Land Rover – particularly if it’s parked in a rural area – to take extra steps to ensure it is left safe and secure.

“It’s preferable to spend the time and money now to improve your security than to go through the inconvenience and frustration of losing your vehicle to thieves. As these incidents show, security systems like pedal locks can make a real difference.

“Members of the public act as our eyes and ears, and so if you are aware of any suspicious activity around parked vehicles, please call us, and we will take action.”

Between 2016 and 2018, 20 Land Rovers were reported stolen from the North Yorkshire Police area. It is believed the desirability of, and demand for, these vehicles makes them particularly attractive to thieves.

If you are aware of any suspicious activity around Land Rovers or other vehicles, contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

Your local Neighbourhood Policing Team or Rural Taskforce officer can offer crime prevention advice for rural homes, businesses and vehicles. They can be also contacted via 101.

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