Owners of Land Rover Defenders warned of upsurge in thefts across County Durham (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Owners of Land Rover Defenders warned of upsurge in thefts across County Durham
POLICE have come up with a novel way of warning owners of Land Rover Defenders of a recent spike in thefts of the vehicles.
Officers have launched a raffle to win a tracking device which will be fitted to their vehicle.
Once activated, the tracker can lead police straight to the stolen vehicle and help them catch thieves in the act.
Pc Garry Dunn, of Barnard Castle Police, said the Defender's design meant if thieves couldn't steal the vehicle, they would simply strip it.
“The majority of Defender body parts and components are bolted together, so are fairly easy to dismantle.
“That recently occurred in Wolsingham where two fairly new Defenders were stripped in situ at a commercial garage."
He added: “It is organised crime. Parts that are stolen are shipped to a handler – it is part of a bigger picture.”
He said fitting Defenders and other 4x4s with the most up-to-date Tracker Retrieve devices was one way of tackling the problem.
However, they cost £249 to fit with an annual subscription to the service on top.
“These are a lot more sophisticated than earlier devices. The tracker is a completely sealed unit with its own power source, so it can be hidden in the bowels of the vehicle where it can't be found by thieves.”
To raise awareness of the issue, Pc Dunn has a Tracker Retrieve unit to offer as a raffle prize, with all proceeds going to FarmWatch.
Tickets are available from the front counters at Barnard Castle and Crook police stations, which are open Monday-Friday, 10am-3pm.
The draw will take place on Wednesday, October 2, at Barnard Castle police station.
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