LAND Rover owners are being urged to be extra vigilant following a spate of vehicle thefts in East Dorset.
A spokesman from Dorset Police said between the end of June and Mid-August six Land Rover Defenders were stolen from the Wimborne and Cranborne areas.
Four of the vehicles, which were all series 90 and series 110 models, were later discovered abandoned and burnt out.
Police Sergeant Simon Perry, of Dorset Police, said: “I urge anyone who has any concerns to call the police promptly – occasionally we have a missed opportunity where we have not been called until the day after a suspicious incident.”
He added: “I would like to reassure communities that we are committed to tackling rural crime and we are conducting targeted patrols in an effort to prevent crime and catch offenders.”
A 19-year-old man from Blandford has been arrested following an incident of alleged theft of a green Land Rover from an address in Hampreston near Wimborne on Monday June 30.
He has been bailed pending further police enquiries.
Sergeant Perry said: “I ask witnesses and anyone with information to contact the police as soon as possible.
“Please be vigilant and call us on 101 at the time you see any suspicious behaviour or call 999 if you think a crime is in progress.”
Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in confidence on 101, quoting Action number 263172. Alternatively, call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where mobile phone tariffs may apply.
Dorset Police has issued the following crime prevention advice to vehicle owners:
• Do not leave your vehicle unattended away from your house/business for any length of time. Choose car parks which are well lit and where there is CCTV.
• Where possible park your vehicle overnight in your garage if you have one.
• Fit an alarm/immobiliser and a tracker if possible. The alarm may not be so effective in a remote location. The immobiliser should prevent them ‘hotwiring’ the vehicle and the tracker will help locate it if it is stolen.
• Block your vehicle in with other parked cars at your house/business.
• Consider purchasing a steering wheel lock and/or wheel clamps.
• Ensure that keys are not left in the vehicle or somewhere where a thief will easily find them, such as a hook on the wall, or a table in the hallway of your house.