Disgruntled Range Rover Sport owners have called on manufacturer Land Rover to play a more pivotal role in helping combat the spate of headlight and grille thefts that is blighting Bradford district.
Thieves have been targeting the expensive vehicles for at least four months, ripping the parts out in as little as 30 seconds in some cases.
The ease with which the crimes are committed has led to owners calling for Land Rover to shoulder some of the blame – but so far, the company has distanced itself from the incidents.
Earlier this week, Land Rover said the vehicles being targeted were older vehicles that were no longer in production. A spokesman insisted there was no design issue with the vehicles and added that it was a police matter, rather than an issue for the company.
But Terry Uttley, whose wife Shirley’s car was targeted in a hospital car park, and Louise Cartner, whose vehicle was stripped in her work car park, disagree.
Mr Uttley said: “I would like a better reason than the one that their spokesperson came out with as you can see it was false, as I suspect the other victims would.”
He added: “Shirley’s car is just over a year old, so how new does a car have to be not to be classed as old? They make the victims’ transport sound like relics.”
Mrs Cartner said her vehicle was just ten months old when thieves targeted it, and added: “How can they say it is older vehicles? It is ridiculous. “I have paid a lot of money for it, and they are just wiping their hands of it.”
The 41-year-old, who is a general manager at SportsShoes in Shipley, added: “I am in a situation where I have got a £60,000 car that I cannot take anywhere. It is going to happen again.
“Until Land Rover make some acknowledgement of it, then we are all in a tricky place. Land Rover need to make a statement at least, advising people.”
Mrs Cartner’s vehicle was targeted at 2.45pm just 30 feet from the reception of her workplace.
The raid was partially caught on a camera that was in an adjacent vehicle. However, the raiders’ faces never make it onto the camera.
Mrs Cartner said: “They have been very lucky. If the guy had gone one step backwards, we would have seen his full face.”
She added: “I am currently at £8,000 worth of repairs, with four items still to go on that bill.”
Another car was also stripped of parts on the same day and in the same car park. Mrs Cartner also said she had been aware of other raids around the district, prompting her to ring Land Rover.
“They claimed that they had never heard of this crime before,” she said.
Land Rover did not comment.