Land Rover Driver Retrieves Stolen Car After Finding It With a Neat Trick

A Land Rover Discovery Sport owner from Battersea has woken up to find her car missing from its usual spot. Although the vehicle was in a private parking lot, with large gates locked all the time and controlled by a key code, the thieves made off with it.
Land Rover Discovery Sport 8 photos
Photo: Jo Coombs' personal archive, initially published in The Irish Sun
Land Rover Discovery Sport with steering lock deviceCar thieves in actionCar thieves in actionCar thieves in actionCar thieves in actionCar thieves in actionCar thieves in action
The owner admitted that she thought the area, especially the private car park, was safe and protected. The vehicle in question has keyless entry, which is known to be easier to trick into opening a car and letting it start and drive off.

As the owner told The Irish Sun, she knew that Land Rover and Range Rover keyless entry cars are "easy to steal," but "you never think it's going to happen to you." As she concluded, "or I stupidly thought it wouldn't." We are not blaming the victim here, just pointing out that it could happen to anyone.

Thieves have managed to enter a locked car park, unlock and start a vehicle, and then leave the car park despite not having the code for the place. If that does not scare you one bit, you either have excellent insurance or do not really care about your possessions.

While slightly concerning, this would have been the end of the story normally since thousands of vehicles get stolen every day. We could not possibly cover every theft, especially those of volume models, but there is a twist here.

After calling the police, the owner called her insurance company to alert them of the theft. While on the call with them, she remembered that she had gotten a policy that allowed her to pay just for the miles that were driven and that her vehicle was fitted with a GPS tracking device by the insurance company.

Moreover, there was an app from her insurer that allowed her to check how much she had driven, at what time, and to track the vehicle's position. So it came as a bit of a surprise to discover that the car had been moved a mile and parked. Afterwad, it was driven another mile, and so on, all in the middle of the night.

The thieves parked the vehicle just 1.9 miles (ca. 3 km) away from Jo's home, the place where the car had been stolen. Naturally, Jo called the cops again, but this time, she had a location on her vehicle. It was not enough, though, as the police officer on the other end of the line instructed her to go get the Land Rover herself.

Apparently, it was faster for her to go retrieve the vehicle, or at least check its location, instead of waiting for police to go do it. Jo left her concern behind and went to look for her car. Concealed under a tree, she found a blue Land Rover Discovery Sport.

While the plates did not match, the vehicle was unlocked with her keys. Instead of simply driving off in it and risking getting in a conflict with the thieves, Jo called the police again. As she told The Sun, the police came in 30 minutes, checked the car, and ran the plates that were on it.

While the plates were from the same dealer like the one where she got her car, they were not reported stolen. After placing her plates (left inside the vehicle) on the car and removing cigarette butts from the ashtray, she drove off. The first destination was the country's largest auto center, where she acquired a steering lock. That can't be tricked with a relay device, mind you.
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Editor's note: For illustration purposes, the photo gallery shows other images of thieves in action.

About the author: Sebastian Toma
Sebastian Toma profile photo

Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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