Video: Thieves continue to target Land Rover Defenders

Thieves are continuing to target iconic Land Rover Defenders right across the Republic of Ireland and the UK.

Members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) are appealing for information after a Land Rover Defender 90 was reported stolen recently in Co. Armagh.

The vehicle is believed to be red in colour and its registration is IFZ 8412. It is believed the vehicle was stolen following a burglary at a premises on the Druminure Road, Tandragee.

The theft allegedly occurred sometime between 11:00pm on Sunday, August 27, and 6:00am on Monday August 28. Three nail guns, with a value of almost £2,300 (€2,497) were also reportedly stolen.

As part of NFU Mutual’s Rural Crime Report for 2017, it was highlighted that since Land Rover ended production of its Defender the “iconic farm vehicle has become an even bigger target for thieves”.

Land Rover Defender thefts amounted to costs of £2.1 million (€2.28 million) in the UK last year. This increased from £1.8 million (€1.95 million) in the previous year.

This was second only to the cost of agricultural vehicle theft, which remained static at £5.4 million (€5.86 million).

Andrew Stafford is a dairy farmer from Leicestershire in the UK who has had five Land Rover Defenders stolen over a period of about 20 years.

Some were taken at night, a couple went in broad daylight. The last one was alarmed, but they got around that.

“It was found a few days later, it’d been broken up for parts. The thieves are so blatant now, if they want it they’ll take it,” Stafford said.

The last Land Rover Defender was completed in January 2016, following 68 years in production.

It was understood that time had been called on the Defender due to tough European Union emissions regulations, while the jeep also struggled to keep pace with modern safety standards due to its “old-fashioned” design.