Since the classic Defender was discontinued in January 2016, the value of the iconic trucks has skyrocketed globally. In the United Kingdom, there has been a major issue with trucks being stolen out of driveways and parking lots, usually either for export or for their valuable parts.
The bolt-together nature of the Defender inherently makes it easy to remove parts like doors and body panels, which have value on the secondary market. Finally, police in Staffordshire, England have had enough, and have begun an enforcement blitz to try and curb Defender thefts in their region.
The new sting program, Operation Tempran, is taking an offensive position to curb thefts, instead of a defensive one. They have begun proactively stopping any Defenders they see on their rounds to make sure that they are legitimately owned and registered. Although this can become a bit burdensome for legitimate Defender drivers, it’s certainly better than having their trucks stolen out of their driveways.
The Defender is one of the most-pilfered vehicles in Britain, and as the worldwide desirability of the original iconic truck is only going up, the trend likely won’t end any time soon. The later 2007-2016 "Puma" models, which have a revised hood to accommodate a taller diesel engine, especially suffer as this panel is a popular upgrade to earlier vehicles.
Unfortunately, programs like Operation Tempran will become more necessary to try and curb these thefts and keep Defenders with their loving owners. Also unfortunately, it looks like Defender owners in Staffordshire who take their trucks to work might want to leave the house a little earlier now.
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