THE Land Rover Defender is a true icon of what is best in British built off-road values.
This survivor of a previous generation is treasured by many owners who think it is the best thing on and off road. Sadly, the thieves think so too.
As the Defender reached the end of its production run earlier this year, insurers NFU Mutual reported that thefts of these vehicles had risen by a staggering 75 per cent.
Police forces across the UK have also seen a rise in the thefts of Defenders and some experts feel that they are linked to criminal gangs operating in the US and Eatern Europe.
It appears that many of these stolen vehicles are being shipped overseas, never to be seen on these shores again.
Obviously the best solution is to fit extra layers of automotive security, such as a Tracker device which will not stop the vehicle being stolen, but will immediately pinpoint its location to police who can hunt it down.
Tracker has recently recovered two Defenders, worth £10,000 and £15,000 which were stolen at opposite ends of the country.
Darren Wray, the owner of one of the stolen Land Rover Defenders, based in Knottingley, West Yorkshire, was shocked to discover that his car was stolen from outside his place of work by an opportunistic thief.
With the help of the Tracker device, the car was located by West Yorkshire Police in Leeds.
"I had been servicing my car in the same way that I've done many times. I backed the car out of the garage and left it ticking over outside, for literally just a couple of minutes, when it was stolen," said Darren. "I felt helpless and couldn't believe how quickly it had happened. After contacting the police and Tracker, my Defender was located in just a few hours."
Another vehicle was stolen from a home in Haywards Heath, West Sussex. It was found by Surrey Police in Tatsfield, Surrey, again with the assistance of Tracker.
So the writing is on the wall. If you own a Defender, especially one of the last production models, be vigilant and do everything you can to make the thieves' job as difficult as possible.