After several years of declining figures, sadly since 2014 combined figures from police forces across England, Wales, Scotland and N. Ireland have shown a sharp rise in vehicle thefts, having shot up by 45% since 2014. The worst affected area is the West Midlands in England where thefts have tripled in the last 5 years with 16 claims per 10k vehicles now the norm.
This is bad enough but when you factor in the growing rates of theft of 4×4 vehicles, in particular, the Land Rover Defender which sees itself earn the unenviable position of 2nd most stolen vehicle with 5.8 per 1000 being taken, it’s clear that as owners of these much-loved vehicles that we need to do what we can to protect ourselves as much as possible.
Unfortunately I found out to my own personal cost back in December 2017 the trauma having a vehicle taken can cause when my own was taken off my driveway in the West Midlands. The thieves, it turned out, had obviously carefully selected my vehicle and sat and waited for my family and I to return home in it from an evening out. After placing the keys in a drawer in our kitchen my wife and I went about putting our two children to bed. Moments later one of them broke into our property via rear external door, took the keys from the drawer and passed them out through our letterbox in our front door to his awaiting accomplices who seconds later were to be heard racing up the road in my hard earned and much loved vehicle – which was never seen again.
To be fair the police were quick in responding, dusting the house for prints and taking statements etc but all to no avail. However, as disturbing and upsetting as the initial break in and theft had been nothing prepared me for the following months of arguing, frustration and wasted time that would be taken up with my having to fight with insurance companies to try and get back anywhere near the correct value of the vehicle that I’d lost. In the end being forced to settle for a several thousand pound loss and then having the task of hunting for a replacement with less funds than before.
So, having finally found a suitable replacement I was determined to do all I could to ensure that this sorry episode would not be repeated. After doing all the obvious upgrades at my home, fitting upgraded locks on all doors and CCTV cameras around the property my focus turned to the vehicle itself. I undertook some research into the best steering wheel lock available, in the end going for a StopLock.
Whilst this gave me some small peace of mind and acts as a decent visual deterrent, I wanted to find something far more substantial and effective, some sort of tracking device that should I be unfortunate enough to have the vehicle taken that next time the thieves wouldn’t be so lucky as to be able to hang on to it.
It was the search for this solution that led me to Gloucester based company, Defender Defender. There are many different tracking style devices on the market all with varying cost and reliability, but what really got my attention from this product was the many features it has – this was not just a tracker by any means.As with many other products on the market it enables you to Geo Fence your vehicle once it’s parked alerting you if it moves out of the chosen distance you have set and then allowing you to track it in real time if it does start to move however this is just the start of the Defender Defender’s weaponry.
A simple to use App on your phone controls the device and alerts you via various means when the vehicle is even tampered with let alone opened or attempted to be started – this ensures towing away is not an option or indeed having any expensive accessories such as a roof top tent being removed from the vehicle without you being made aware of it. And even if they do manage to quickly gain entry and start to drive away from your phone you can simply press a single button stops the engine from running and disables the vehicle.
The peace of mind this has given me since fitting it has been worth the investment alone, with further comfort given to me after speaking to the companies owner, Dan Knight, who explained that to date, 1% of all fitted units have been triggered by an attempted theft, (a figure that tallies nationally in the UK with the number of Defenders that are stolen a year), but as yet not one has been lost and every one recovered!
And don’t be fooled by the name of this great bit of kit, if you’re not a Land Rover Defender owner the kit can be simply fitted to any number of other vehicles and protect them just the same. Let’s be honest, it’s annoying that we have to spend any of our hard earned cash on a device to simply ensure that what’s ours remains ours rather than getting those cool looking rock sliders or new LED spotlights.
But, at the end of the day vehicle theft isn’t going to go away anytime soon and better to have a vehicle to actually fit rock sliders to than be left ruing the fact you delayed protecting your vehicle properly. Check out www.defenderdefender.co.uk
You will be provided with detailed instructions at point of purchase and feel free to ask us for advice, we are available during normal office hours. All necessary fitting components are found within the contents of the box. The inclusion of rust proof marine quality wire connectors means less wires to cut throughout the process improving the standard of installation. We also have a growing number of registered fitters around the country, so please get in touch and make that request if you are struggling or simply do not have the time to DIY