POLICE in Shropshire have urged owners of Land Rover Defenders to be on their guard after a surge in thefts.

Local officers have been visiting farmers across the county to make them aware of the increase and to offer them advice on how best to protect their property.

They have also increased patrols.

Graham Donaldson, rural and business crime officer at West Mercia Police said: “Following a recent spate of thefts and attempted thefts of Land Rover Defenders in the Shropshire area, we have been visiting farms across the county to advise farmers of the steps they can take to help prevent them from becoming a victim.

“We will also be increasing patrols in areas that have been targeted,

“All vehicles that have been stolen have been taken from farms and without keys, and all of the targeted vehicles are relatively old, registered in the early 2000s.

Owners of these vehicles are been asked to follow the below advice to help prevent further thefts:

  • Make sure all vehicles are left locked and secure when not in use.
  • Leave the vehicle in a lit area if possible.
  • Consider leaving the vehicle inside a locked building such as barns or workshops.
  • Consider purchasing anti-theft devices such as steering wheel lock or wheel clamp.
  • Fit a tracking device to the vehicle.
  • Block the vehicle in with larger immovable objects
  • Fit CCTV to the area the vehicle is parked and include signage.

If you’ve witnessed or been the victim of crime please report it to the police. Reports are dealt with by their control room in exactly the same way whether you report it online or call 101.

Alternatively, If you have information but don’t feel comfortable speaking to police, you can speak to the independent charity Crimestoppers. It is 100 per cent anonymous, they never ask your name and they cannot trace your call or I.P address. You can visit crimestoppers-uk.org or call 0800 555 111.