Saturday, 20 July 2019

Land Rovers stripped of doors in series of thefts

Land Rovers stripped of doors in series of thefts

A WOMAN’S Land Rover was stripped of parts in the third incident of its type in as many weeks.

Rachael Parkinson’s black Defender was parked on her driveway in Harpsden Way, Henley, when it was targeted during Monday night last week.

The thieves stole its four doors, bonnet and two front seats.

Her husband Mark made the discovery when he went outside at about 6.45am on the Tuesday.

Mrs Parkinson, who has owned the vehicle since 2010, said: “We have got a private drive with gates and you can’t see the driveway from the main road. We also have two dogs.

“They got over the electric gate and basically stripped the car without the dogs hearing. It was raining and the weather was really bad so that must have masked some of the noise.”

She said the gang had disabled the Land Rover’s alarm before removing the parts.

“They were so brazen because it was parked right next to the house,” she said. “I just couldn’t believe it. It’s the audacity of it.

“It was a professional gang 100 per cent. It was totally planned — it wasn’t opportunistic. They either put a tracker on my car and followed me or watched me and the house.

“It’s horrible to know people have been on the property and doing stuff like that.”

Mrs Parkinson said she didn’t know whether the vehicle was a write-off, adding: “We’re still waiting for the insurance company to assess it.”

She said she was concerned that if she had the vehicle repaired the thieves would return and do the same gain.

Last month thieves stole the doors of two other Land Rovers. Patrick Malaperiman’s blue Defender was targeted on Chalkhouse Green Road, Kidmore End during the night of May 19. The thieves stole four doors and a bonnet from the vehicle.

A Land Rover Discovery had its two front doors taken while parked in Reading Road, Henley, during the night of May 21.

Mr Malaperiman discovered the theft at 4.30am as he left to catch a flight to Germany from Heathrow airport.

The vehicle was parked on his gated driveway and he believes the thieves accessed the property via a side gate.

They disabled the car’s alarm before removing a back window to get inside. Mr Malaperiman had spent £700 replacing the standard bolts with security ones but these failed to deter the thieves.

He said: “These guys seem to know what they are doing and are very professional.

“I was absolutely gutted, disappointed and violated. The vehicle is part of the family.

“Because of its value and the repair costs the insurance company has initially written it off.”

Mr Malaperiman added: “My 11-year-old daughter is now scared of every sound she hears. She wants us to stay in her room at night.

“I would encourage everyone to be vigilant and think about things that aren’t normal. I’d say keep your Land Rover out of sight and secure and if you have got a garage put it inside.”

In May 2017, two Land Rovers Defenders were stripped for parts within days of each other.

Richard Clark, who runs the Unicorn pub in Kingwood, found his vehicle with the doors and seats missing while Richard Underwood, from Peppard Common lost his doors, seats and bonnet.

Land Rover stopped making the Defender in January 2016 after almost 67 years after the Series 1 on which it was based went on sale.

Anyone with information should call Thames Valley Police on 101, quoting crime reference number 43190150615.

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