Police are urging owners of Land Rover Defenders to be on their guard against vehicle thieves, particularly in rural areas.
The warning comes after a number of thefts and attempted thefts involving the vehicles across the county:
• A Land Rover Defender was tampered with in Markington near Harrogate on the morning of 8 January 2016. It is believed offenders made off after activating the alarm. Crime reference 12160004174.
• The theft of a green Land Rover Defender was reported in Crathorne, overnight 10-11 January 2016, registration TF07FEA. Crime reference 12160005723.
• A green Land Rover Defender, registration APY156G, was stolen from Gribdale Terrace, near Great Ayton, during the night of 11-12 January 2016. Crime reference 12160006718.
• A Land Rover Defender was entered in the Holgate area of York overnight 11-12 January 2016. Crime reference 12160006316.
There have also been thefts and attempted thefts of these type of vehicles recently in neighbouring force areas
Police are appealing to owners to be vigilant in keeping their vehicles as safe and secure as possible, and are also asking members of the public to report any suspicious activity near to Land Rover Defenders.
Sergeant Nick Hill, of Stokesley Police, said: “I am urging Land Rover Defender owners especially to be on their guard and ensure they have adequate security measures in place .
“It appears an organized group of criminals is specifically targeting this make and model of vehicle. Of greatest concern to us is that it is evident these thieves have knowledge of this particular vehicle’s factory-fitted security and electrical systems.
“Land Rovers should always be locked and alarmed, and owners should consider fitting an after-market approved immobiliser. Park in a locked garage or other secure area if you have one, or in a well-lit open space or where there is passive lighting. Don’t leave keys in the ignition or near the front door at home and be vigilant when in your vehicle for anyone taking an interest in it.
“Consider fitting a transponder-based security marking system and tracker device, and etching all windows with your vehicle identification number.”
Anyone with information on any of these crimes should call North Yorkshire Police on 101 and quoting the respective crime reference number. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.