Warning over gangs targeting Land Rovers after 42 thefts across South Yorkshire since May

Organised crime gangs out to steal Land Rovers are thought to be behind a spate of targeted thefts across South Yorkshire.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 10:06 am

Detectives are urging 4x4 owners to take steps to secure their vehicles after a spike in thefts.

In the two months since the beginning of May, 42 Land Rovers have been stolen across South Yorkshire, with Barnsley and Sheffield being the most targeted areas.

South Yorkshire Police is warning that valuable keyless entry models are the most popular with thieves because of the threat of “relay theft”.

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More than 40 Land Rovers have been reported stolen in South Yorkshire since May (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
More than 40 Land Rovers have been reported stolen in South Yorkshire since May (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

This is where a device is used by criminals to trick the car into thinking the fob is nearby, allowing thieves to start the ignition and drive away.

However, older models of the brand – such as Defenders – are also particularly valuable due to their continuing popularity and ease of breaking them down into parts.

DCI Jamie Henderson of South Yorkshire Police commented in a tweet that the spike was “undoubtedly” the work of organised crime gangs.

He said in a statement: “Having your car stolen, whatever it is, is distressing and it’s also costly.

“We know that crime prevention does work and often the old-fashioned measures are the best, such as steering wheel locks, which simply put criminals off even having a go at your car.

“If you’ve got a keyless car, please get yourself a signal blocking pouch, container or box to keep your keys in – they really do work.”

Out of the 42 vehicles stolen, nine have been recovered with enquiries ongoing to locate the others.

Two people have also been arrested and questioned in connection with a number of offences.