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Range Rover / Land Rover Theft

There has been a recent spike in the theft of high performance vehicles across the 3 counties, particularly Land Rover and Range Rovers. 


We are therefore issuing some advice in relation to protecting your Land Rover and preventing car and vehicle theft in general.



Installing a tracking device, steering lock or engine immobiliser, parking your Land Rover at a safe spot and always keeping your key fob protected, are all things that can help prevent your Land Rover from being stolen.

Range Rovers are some of the most stolen vehicles. The older ones, especially since they are not technologically advanced like the newer models, have low-tech security systems.

Production of the classic Defender stopped in 2016 and has been on the radar for many thieves, just like other classic models. It takes very little time for professional thieves to dismantle and salvage it for parts.



Whenever a vehicle gets stolen, it does not directly go to the thief’s property; instead, it is parked elsewhere.

Thieves will not reveal their hideout location and risk getting found by the car’s tracking device.

Having a tracking device also buys you more time to get back your Land Rover in one piece. You can contact the Police and provide them with accurate information.

Tech-savvy thieves are always finding new and improved ways to steal expensive cars. Stolen cars are also shipped to a different country overseas within the next 24 hours.

A high-quality Range Rover GPS tracker provides S7 tracking systems that offer 24 hours monitoring and send distress signals to police if any theft attempt is detected. This way, you will always be one step ahead of the thief.

Keeping your Land Rover locked may sound obvious, but still, sometimes, we might forget to physically lock our cars because many newer models are keyless systems and work with a button’s push.

One common mistake many people make is that they press the key fob in a direction away from the vehicle after getting out of the car and do not double-check.

This means the signal does not go to the car and the doors stay unlocked. If someone opens it in that state, even the alarm will not go off.

You can easily prevent this by just trying out the handle after you locked it to make sure it is properly locked or just wait for the lights to flash, which shows that it is now locked. A little bit of carefulness can help you a long way.

Parking in a dark and shady alley is likely to attract more thieves. Always remember to park in a well-lit street or spot. Check for security cameras to be extra secure.

Make sure it is a public space with lots of passers-by. If you have a garage, then do not park it in the street even if you are in a hurry.

It’s best not to leave anything in the car once you are out of it. Expensive objects that can easily be seen will grab more attention. This includes music devices and other Satnav or GPS devices.

You can make sure you don’t leave any personal and expensive belongings like jackets or purses behind. Even if you leave it, at least hide it so someone can’t see them through the window.

A good old-fashioned steering wheel lock can be extremely handy. It offers an extra layer of protection and makes sure that even if the thief is tech-savvy, he will still have difficulty unlocking this.

Whatever he does, there will be noise when trying to force these things open. The sturdier the lock, the better.

These tips also apply to electric cars. Steering wheel locks can’t be hacked by computers, making them an effective option to enhance safety.

There are plenty of immobilisers out there that can make a thief’s work extremely difficult and sometimes impossible. There are hidden switches for older models that you can use to make sure the engine does not turn on.

New models like the Land Rover Defender Hybrid have advanced engine immobilisers that work wirelessly through remote signals.

Tech-savvy thieves are now performing relay attacks. These are mostly two-person attacks where one retrieves the signal from your key fob, and the other receives that signal and quickly unlocks your car.

This is the newest form of theft, and it is rising at a rapid rate. They use high-tech devices first to steal the signal from your key fob. These devices can catch signals up to 100 feet away; the signal is then relayed back to your car and hacked to unlock the car.

The best way to prevent this will be to keep your fob at a safe distance. If you are at home, make sure the fob is far away from the window, this makes the signal hard to relay.

You can also block the signal by storing your fob in a metal Faraday pouch. The pouch will act as a force field and prevent any signal transmission.



1. Lock your vehicle
Locking your vehicle, even when filling up or parked on your drive, greatly reduces the possibility of it being targeted by an opportunist thief. Even if you have locked your vehicle, check you haven’t left any windows or the sunroof open.

If your vehicle has wing mirrors that fold in automatically when locked, make sure you lock it properly. Criminal gangs are looking for vehicles like these where the wing mirrors are still out because it is clear to them that the vehicle has been left unlocked. 

2. Keep the keys safe
Vehicles today are by and large more difficult to steal than ever, unless the thief can access your key or fob to clone them. Keep your keys safe, out of view when at home, and away from your front door. It’s not uncommon for car keys to be stolen from inside your home by thieves fishing for them with a stick and hook through the letterbox.

Keyless entry 
Cars with keyless entry unlock automatically when the key comes within a short distance of the car. This can be from inside a pocket or bag. If you have to push a button on your car key to open your car, you don't have keyless entry.

Keyless car theft or 'relay theft' is when a device is used to fool the car into thinking the key is close by. This unlocks the car and starts the ignition.

Thieves only need to be within a few metres of your car key to capture the signal, even if it’s inside your home. This means that even if your car and home are secure, thieves can still unlock, start and steal your car.

How to protect your keyless entry car
When at home keep your car key (and the spare) well away from the car.
Put the keys in a screened or signal-blocking pouch, such as a Faraday Bag.
Reprogramme your keys if you buy a second hand car.
Turn off wireless signals on your fob when it's not being used.

3. Be aware of carjackers
The fact that you’re in the car isn’t always a deterrent to someone trying to steal it.

In traffic, drive with the doors locked and when queuing leave enough space in front of your vehicle to enable you to get out of a tight spot. If your vehicle is bumped from behind, wait to pull over – somewhere safe and preferably where there are people. After all, you don’t know the person who has collided with you; they could well be hijackers. If you’re at all suspicious, consider calling the police.

If someone threatens you, it’s better to hand over the keys to the vehicle than become a victim of assault. Then call 999 as soon as possible, and ask for the police.

If your car is stolen, some modern vehicle alarm and tracker systems have the facility to isolate or shut down fuel systems, bringing the vehicle to a halt and leaving the thief high and dry.

4. Park responsibly
It’s always advisable to avoid parking in dark and secluded areas. It’s worth an extra five or ten-minute walk if it means your vehicle is left in a well-lit and busier street.

And if possible, always try to park in illuminated and staffed car parks.

5. Watch for illegal tow trucks
Thieves often attempt to lift vehicles from the street, literally. So, if you see a towaway crew acting suspiciously – especially if their vehicle isn’t branded or if they’re not in uniform – then please report it immediately.

As with every report of suspicious behaviour made in good faith, we’ll never blame anyone for calling us if it proves unfounded.

Car parks with height-restricted entrances help prevent illegal tow trucks and removal vehicles. 

6. Fit good in-car security locks
Bear in mind that built-in steering locks aren’t necessarily thief-proof. Many can be forced and broken. Fitting a Sold Secure steering wheel, gear lever or clutch pedal security device can give your vehicle added protection. 

7. Double-check electronic locking
Electronic devices can be used to jam the electronic signal from your key fob to lock your vehicle. Always manually check your vehicle has locked before walking away.

If unsure, lock it manually, then scan the immediate area for anyone hanging around. If a potential thief who’s watching feels they’ve been spotted, they’ll probably move off.

8. Before owning, check for cloning
Changing the identity of a vehicle, known as vehicle cloning, can be as simple as adding stolen number plates. When buying a vehicle, always check the DVLA V5 document and make sure the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the vehicle is the same as on the document.

Make sure you check more than one of the VINs as well as the engine numbers on the vehicle.

9. Secure your port
Many modern vehicles are fitted with engine management diagnostic ports, which can unlock and start your vehicle.

If your vehicle has this type of port, consider fitting a lockable cover.

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Message Sent By
Giovanna Traetto-Reynolds
(Beds police, Police Community Support Officer, Bedfordshire)

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