Land Rover Defenders seized by Western Cape police. (Supplied, SAPS) – News24.com

Since the iconic Land Rover Defender ceased production in January 2016, the value of this legendary vehicle has rocketed through the roof. It was merely a matter of time before the criminally-minded start seeing opportunities. Since production discontinued in January 2016, the Defender has become a prime target for auto thieves.

In their August 2016 issue, Land Rover Monthly reported a sharp rise in Defender theft in the United Kingdom. According to the article, Defender theft in the UK rose to 8 percent since 2014, estimating losses at £1.8 million (R33 million).

The problem has made it Defender thieves have been caught  Police in the Western Cape has seized four brand-new Land Rover Defender Heritage vehicles, to the value of R3 million, in Paarden Island on Thursday, following an investigation into fraudulent import and export deals, News24 reports.


The article says that Bellville police found the vehicles at a storage facility on Carlisle Road in Paarden Island around 14:00. “Fraudulent export documents were issued for the vehicles in Johannesburg while the vehicles were in storage in Cape Town,” said Captain FC van Wyk in a statement. They were destined for Malaysia and the UK and valued at R3m. The investigation is on-going.