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stolen land rover recovery


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i have an idea that could help track and recover stolen vehicles using the vast networks of forums and official land rover clubs throughout europe.

its just an idea and i realize there would be obstacles and hitches to overcome to get this to work but, nevertheless its a perfectly feasable idea.

i have no idea of how a network like this would work on the tech side but .i imagine that with thousands of members nationally and tens of thousands europe wide then surely its certainly possible.

in a nut shell each and every member would give a picture and a description of his or her vehicle to their forum club etc and an email addy..so far so good.

then if your baby goes missing then an automatic e mail with pic and description goes to every single member. thus making it much harder for a potential theif to move a stolen truck about without being seen.

just an idea. ;)

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In a nutshell, every member of the forum posts a description and location of the vehicle they would like to offer up to be stolen. Then when this advert has resulted in their pride and joy being nicked we can all receive a nice email asking us to look out for a complete vehicle which was broken up into untraceable spares weeks before. Truly I can't think of one aspect of your plan which sounds like a good idea.

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info about the stolen vehicle would only be sent out when the vehicle was notified as stolen by it's legal owner to the proposed database which would forward it to the signed up LR owing members to keep a look out report any sightings.

not as a database of every LR in existence for people to browse.

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how are they offering their vehicle up for theft?

obviously the identity of the vehicle does not need to be revealed unless its stolen.and why would they give the current location?

i spoke to western about this he suggested that there would probably be data protection issues etc.

you may say im a dreamer but im not the only one :rolleyes:

its just an idea that i wanna run through peoples minds to see how a many eyes net work could come about. bcos im not a network data base notch i cannot give you the if and hows just the basic idea. :(

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I'm sorry, but you're naive to think that these vehicles are being stolen and sold on in the trade. Land Rovers are known to be worth more in component parts than as complete vehicles. No one in their right mind is going to steal a vehicle and then offer it to sale in the back of LRO magazine. For all your good intention, the best thing you can do to protect your investment is minimise the exposure of the vehicle, minimise it's interest to others by not leaving it out on the street in front of your house, and to make it as hard to steal as possible by parking a car with proper security technology in front of it on the drive. The world you live in where an international united network of 4x4 forum members reporting to a central database of amateur intelligence analysts who can defeat car theft as an industry is a beautiful vision.

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dont say that :unsure: i was thinking that.

but decided to go ahead with this post anyway, you know that landrover owners are not the average car owners, even here in germany im surprised i havent been arrested yet for the amount of times my arm goes up and down when i see another landy.

you see it would probably work better here then there cos europes so big and the cars do get taken across boarders and sold.

but even second hand parts need selling, and who knows with enough detailed info even parts could be recognized as stolen which at the very least could prompt police intervention?

as you say its a dream but one that i think could help not cure but help.

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It might be useful to have a central location where you can check a VIN number to see if it's stolen? I know there are plenty of companies who do this but they cannot guarantee the accuracy and they charge a lot for it.

Adding gearbox, axle and engine numbers to it would be good. Most people have phones capable of accessing the web (even if just through WAP). It would be good to be able to check that pile of bits as Sodbury or on eBay quickly & easily using your phone?

Set it up so anyone can add details and then only they (and the admin) can edit or remove the info. Since you are effectively publishing the info yourself - much like on a forum - there shouldn't be data protection issues.

The info would not be browsable - just search for a number and get yes / no back. Maybe also the name and number of the owner (the number can be anonymised using a forwarding company) if the owner wishes it to be published.

Bigger issues are hosting and funding related, but in principle I think it's an interesting idea.

Si

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It might be useful to have a central location where you can check a VIN number to see if it's stolen? I know there are plenty of companies who do this but they cannot guarantee the accuracy and they charge a lot for it.

Adding gearbox, axle and engine numbers to it would be good. Most people have phones capable of accessing the web (even if just through WAP). It would be good to be able to check that pile of bits as Sodbury or on eBay quickly & easily using your phone?

Set it up so anyone can add details and then only they (and the admin) can edit or remove the info. Since you are effectively publishing the info yourself - much like on a forum - there shouldn't be data protection issues.

The info would not be browsable - just search for a number and get yes / no back. Maybe also the name and number of the owner (the number can be anonymised using a forwarding company) if the owner wishes it to be published.

Bigger issues are hosting and funding related, but in principle I think it's an interesting idea.

Si

I'm not that good with computer but I know website are not secure so could this not be open up a car cloning problems

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I'm not that good with computer but I know website are not secure so could this not be open up a car cloning problems

Not really - it's not giving away any info other than if the serial number you have entered is stolen - not even if the number is valid, just 'Stolen' or 'Unknown'.

So, you could if you were lucky entering the numbers get some that it knows are valid and stolen - but then you probably don't want a cloned identity made from numbers from stolen vehicles - unless you were REALLY hard of thinking!

Even if you managed to hack the site - all you would get is a list of stolen serial numbers. Not a whole lot of use!

You could fund the service by using text messages for the check. Say a cost of 25p to see if a number is stolen. The person who has had their vehicle stolen registers their details on line for free - but someone wishing to check an engine for sale for example, pays 25p for the check.

If the check comes back stolen, if the victim has registered their mobile number - it gets sent to the checker with their message.

You could use some of the 25p's to offer a bounty to the checker if they find and report a stolen item?

Si

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feedback this is all i was hoping for really, as the the topic description says :where there is unity there is victory.

the more critical and optomistic the feedback the better. :) it all makes for a better idea. as ive said thats all this is an idea.

could it work?

thats for us to find out with the help of all.

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I'm sorry, but you're naive to think that these vehicles are being stolen and sold on in the trade. Land Rovers are known to be worth more in component parts than as complete vehicles. No one in their right mind is going to steal a vehicle and then offer it to sale in the back of LRO magazine. For all your good intention, the best thing you can do to protect your investment is minimise the exposure of the vehicle, minimise it's interest to others by not leaving it out on the street in front of your house, and to make it as hard to steal as possible by parking a car with proper security technology in front of it on the drive. The world you live in where an international united network of 4x4 forum members reporting to a central database of amateur intelligence analysts who can defeat car theft as an industry is a beautiful vision.

your comment about a vehicle being stolen and then being offered up for sale. a couple of years ago my brother inlaw had his series 2 stolen it stood our as it was fire engine red with loads of special features added inside it had a custom dash made anyway to cut along story short 2 years went by and nothing then suddenly we saw one the same but in yellow the seller posted pictures of it with the inside and there it was the custom made dash still in it and as he made all the bits himself it stood out, they removed the bits to paint it and put it all back but they come unstuck as there were sertain bits he made and he could name every bit of work and say how it was done he got it back after 3 years 6 months .. buthe was lucky nearly all are stripped for parts then go abroad the police found 11 containers full of stolen parts at the docks ready to go i live out in the sticks and we have had 12 go in less than a year

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so much for unity i suppose thats the answer to my little idea..

i suppose its a case of come back when youve got the prototype.

im dissapointed :angry:

Hi there, your idea and intensions are great.

What does amaze me is how quickly some people shout out the negative aspects and not offer a solution.

Instead of a standing data base of owned vehicles, you could limit it to a data base of stolen vehicles, with a police case ref. no. and contact tel. no. police/owner, thus should anyone suspect a particular vehicle they could search the data base. (so no you are not inviting the thieves to your home as the car is already stolen)

We all see individual messages of my LR is gone, but a week later try find that message again, all these messages need to be collected in one folder.

As far as data protection you would be consenting to putting these details in a public domain.

In addition you could link it to an automated email system to go out to forums whom would post it on their site, and it can be linked to the text check system as suggested.

You are right in saying we should stand united against crime.

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As above, I think you may be onto something. it would be great to be able to check somewhere engine gearbox axels even tyres to see if they are on a list of stolen things, maybe someone could create a form to list down all of the serial numbers you needed, just in case....

There was a post on here recently where someone found a gearbox on ebay thought it was stolen but didn't know where to start to check if it was.

You would not want to publish the full list this the second your truck went but maybe after you got the insurance so we were more able to check if we were buying something from the bay or Newbury etc... I don't think it would be that difficult to maintain but would need the correct info to start with, how many on here know what their gearbox serial number is?

Maybe there should be two triggers, one with the basic details photos etc for when the landy first went, and the second a bigger list.

There are two problems as I see it, Landys nicked to break and sell for parts in the UK and the ones that get shoved in containers and go to Africa, I don't know what the ratio is and that would be the key to discover if this was worth keeping the list.

Jason.

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I think your idea is great so I don't want this to sound like I'm trying to p*** on your bonfire but I work in criminal law and can tell you that most Land Rovers, Toyotas, BMWs and Mercs that are stolen in the UK are stripped down, boxed up and put into shipping containers within about an hour of them being stolen. As mentioned above, Africa is the main market place for all of these cars and they are shipped out fairly quickly. Many also go to the Middle East, Russia and China.

Although the cars themselves are often stolen by smack heads (who earn about £250 for each car stolen) the business is run by efficient and intelligent people. It's only once in a while some numpty thinks he can steal a vehicle, re-spray it and sell it whole or just sell the parts in the UK.

edit:

I am resigned to the fact that if someone really wants my Landy, they will take it. It is sad (and maybe somewhat defeatist) to think along those lines and by no means does it make me any less vigilant, but if the thieves want it, they will find a way of taking it.

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A surprisingly large number of bits do turn up on eBay though.

My yellow 90 (which caught fire three years ago) was declared a write-off and sent to be crushed. There were several X-Eng prototype parts that I wanted back which were unaffected by the fire - but the scrap yard said it was too late - it had already been crushed.

Over the next few months however, I tracked down the Chassis, engine, gearbox, roll cage, axles and two of the prototype bits either through personal contacts or on eBay. OK it's not technically stolen - but they were still sold on illegally. The scrap yard said they must have been 'stolen' so my Insurer said there was not enough evidence to take action against the scrappy.

I went to look at a Td5 engine and transmission on eBay. The chap selling it kicked me out of his yard when I started writing down the serial numbers! It looked to new & shiny, and he had too much similarly new & shiny Land Rover kit in an old chicken shed. Floor strewn in nuts & bolts - they had clearly been disassembled there. I didn't like the look of his dogs either!

I had a similar experience while looking for a van.

I think there is a common assumption that everything is shipped abroad and so nobody (other than the Police) really bothers looking closer to home.

Si

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on this very forum there are people who would steal your landrover :ph34r:

thieves are everywhere! and when we lock our cars at night and switch on our car alarms and turn on the imobilzer and pat rover on the head weve done all thats really practical that we can do.

its true the professionals (not body and doyle) :D are gonna get their way no matter what we do.

but i cant allow myself to believe that even half these trucks end up in the 3rd world.

in london theres probably a couple of dozen of really professional chop shops that will ring you a motor thats untraceable.

but id bet my mothers last breath that theres thousands of shoddy ones.

and these are the ones that i think are responsible for most of these thefts.

and a system that is driven by owners for owners could be a very tight network, people do not help each other anymore thats why its so easy to get away with murder.

if it helped one single member recover or prosecute it would be worth it in my opinion.

just think about that next time you lock your wheels!!

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  • 2 months later...

Hi all. I have been following this thread with interest. I live in South Africa , possibly the car theft and hi-jacking capital of the world. However one of the benefits of owning and driving a Landy here (apart from it being totally appropriate )is that, it is not found on the shopping list due to its "exotic" nature and previous bad press on reliability. I have personally , never heard of one being stolen in South Africa despite it being extremely respected , even when driving down our notorius mini-bus taxi routes. Possibly , reading of the numbers nicked in England and Europe , we may be the beneficiaries of your underground spare parts industry that keep our ageing , and properly owned fleet on the road.

I have 3 Landies in my immediate family and sincerely hope I have not jinxed there ownership status with this post. Good luck with keeping yours.

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  • 1 year later...

Over on Landywatch, they've been keeping an eye on Uk hotspots for theft, checking what deterrents were in use (Landyzone have drawn up a spreadsheet as well) and building up something of a profile of theft operations.

unsurprisingly, most go at night.

Most go from the home - on the drive or on the road outside the house. This tells us that the thieves stake out the territory, work out what security there might be, plan the operation out then move in quietly and fast. Reports indicate that 'prospectors' are seen casing an area quite regularly.

It seems probable that thieves also watch the forums, so that, as more online chat about methods occurs, thieves become more cautious (possibly moving on to another area).

It appears that the factory security measures are inadequate and offer little by way of deterrent. Having said that, an appreciable number with aftermarket electronic and physical devices still disappear. By the last estimate, a Disklok" takes approximately 119 noisy seconds to defeat, whilst the next best steering wheel disabler takes approx 117 relatively quiet seconds

Many (but I don't have the statistics) vehicles are taken near routes that quickly arrive at ports - so 'chop shops' probably exist near most major container ports; whilst nice new vehicles may be exported whole, older vehicles might be dismantled within an hour for containerised shipping -"agricultural spares"

The 'braves' that do the dirty deed probably don't make the lion's share of the profit - that's for the 'businessmen' that have the resources and nous to do the breaking and identity laundering.

Trackers are probably most useful in the early stages of a theft operation, but would probably become detached from the vehicle at later stages.

Whilst you'd think the 'choke point' would be the container ports, in practice the haul is virtually home and dry by that time.

The police probably know all this as well as we do, but, to be pragmatic, it's a relatively small business next to some of the things they have to deal with.

If there is an answer to this problem, it probably isn't going to come from official sources.

regards

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A couple of months ago my PayPal account was hacked, they spent 2k, changed my address to one in Florida USA, I emailed the local sheriff at 1am, by the next morning I'd received a reply asking for more details from a detective, within 12 hours they'd been to the address which was a safety deposit box shop and emptied the box and closed it down.

This was all done on an email received from a non us citizen, until our police treat every crime seriously stolen land rovers will never be of real interest, it's like they think if it's insured you don't lose out so it's not a priority

In the news this week there was a story about a couple that left a B&B without paying, the police were called, took fingerprints etc and traced the culprits who were bought to court, some people were moaning about a waste of resources for a £65 crime but if this is how all crime was treated it might stop petty criminals progressing to vehicle theft and shop robbery with guns

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