Police chiefs who warned Land Rover owners about a spate of thefts were left red-faced – when their own 4×4 was stripped bare by crooks.
To make matters worse for Leicestershire Police , the brazen crime happened outside one of their own stations.
The £50,000 Land Rover Defender – painted in police markings – was stripped of its bonnet and all four doors by the thieves.
Criminals have been targeting the iconic 4x4s for parts to sell online since they went out of production in January.
Officers had recently warned locals in Market Bosworth about the spate of UK-wide thefts.
So residents were stunned to spot the force’s Defender minus its doors and bonnet outside the town’s police station last week.
Red-faced bosses ordered the 65-plate vehicle – on loan from a local dealership – to be taken away onto a tow-truck.
Emma Burton, who lives in nearby Newbold Verdon, Leics, was driving to work when she spotted the Defender.
She said: I saw the back first and there was a police officer stood with it and I thought the back door was open.
But then when I got closer I realised it was missing completely along with all the other doors and bonnet.
The officer seemed a bit embarrassed. It was literally parked up on the road outside the police station.
It is quite a problem around here. There was one stolen from a nearby village and found a few days later in a yard.
Someone else had their old Defender stripped completely. People sell them for parts because there is a big demand.
Some people think the police don’t take it seriously when they report their Land Rover has been stripped.
Hopefully they will now it has happened to their own 4×4, added Emma, 23.
The Defender was loaned to Leicestershire Police by Sturgess Land Rover last summer to help tackle rural crime.
Local beat officer PC Rob Cross said at the time he hoped the vehicle would show residents that police take it seriously.
News Source MirrorNews