A police campaign has been launched to better protect farmers' Land Rovers following an increase in thefts this year.
North Yorkshire Police is taking action to tackle the thieves who are targeting the valuable vehicles in rural areas.
Police patrols – in both marked and unmarked vehicles – have been increased, and farmers are being urged to take extra security precautions.
A number of arrests have already been made, and investigations are ongoing.
There have been 21 incidents involving the theft of (15) or interference with (6) Land Rovers in North Yorkshire so far this year.
Four of the 21 incidents involved Land Rovers belonging to farming businesses.
Older models of Land Rover Defenders are highly valuable, due to the continuing popularity of the vehicle, and the ease of breaking them down into parts.
In particular, they are still in use on many North Yorkshire farms due to their reliability and off-road capability.
Inspector Matt Hagen, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said it was 'concerning' that incidents of theft had increased recently.
“Land Rovers continue to be the workhorses of many farms and rural businesses – so when they are stolen or damaged it has a significant impact," he added.
"That’s why it’s so important to check your security, and put in place extra measures to defend your Defender.
"Vehicle trackers in particular are invaluable, and can make all the difference in recovering a stolen vehicle and identifying suspects.”
It comes as North Yorkshire Police arrested three men in connection with the theft of a Land Rover Defender from the Pickering area of Ryedale earlier this month.
Officers used a drone with a thermal imaging camera to track down the stolen vehicle.
In separate incidents, two other men have also been arrested in connection with offences involving Land Rovers – both investigations are ongoing.
How can I better protect my Land Rover?
Farmers who own Land Rovers are being urged to follow North Yorkshire Police's crime prevention advice:
• Fit a vehicle tracking system
• Always leave your vehicle locked and alarmed if possible
• Park in a locked garage or other secure area if you have one, or in a well-lit open space if not
• Consider fitting an after-market approved immobiliser
• Never leave the vehicle’s keys in the ignition, in the same outbuilding as the vehicle, or near your front door inside your home
• Be vigilant when using your vehicle for anyone taking an interest in it
• Have the vehicle’s windows etched with the vehicle identification number
• Review your home and business premises security – consider CCTV, gates etc.