The growing epidemic of Defender theft in the UK has just taken a somewhat humorous turn. UK news sources report that brazen thieves made off with the doors and bonnet off a marked police Defender that was parked right outside a police station.
Sure, criminals have been ripping off body panels from late model Defenders for a number of years now. The rate of those thefts has increased dramatically since the end of Defender production earlier this year. So that part is nothing new. This may be the first news report of panels being taken from a law enforcement vehicle in that manner.
Ironically, the late-model 110 Station Wagon was on loan to the local constabulary as part of an initiative to cut rural crime. Leicestershire Police reported that the station was not open at the time of the heist.
Perhaps, with all due respect, Leicestershire’s finest should consider whether leaving a highly desirable and easily disassembled vehicle worth over 20,000 pounds, overnight, completely unattended, in front of a deserted police station, is a useful component of that plan.
I literally cannot imagine a more tempting and delicious prize for the Defender door and bonnet thieves. Why not just leave a sack full of cash and laptops inside the cab, and perhaps some bubble-wrap to protect the nice panels during transport. That would certainly seal the deal, in case some potential thief was having reservations. It is so obvious, one can only wonder how the cops didn’t see it coming.
Come to think of it, maybe the cops were on to something. Surely they must have placed a top-secret, GPS tracking device on one of the panels so they could follow its trail. It probably sends encrypted emails to Leicestershire HQ each time it goes on the move. Or, maybe they had a team of pigeons on retainer from the local birding club to track down the bad guys the old-fashioned way. See? The rest of the media has it wrong. This was clearly an intelligence operation.
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