CAR doors and bonnets have been stolen from Land Rovers in a spate of thefts.

Eight different Land Rover Defenders have been targeted in recent weeks, with police saying they are being sold on the lucrative international market.

Officers said the vehicles were being targeted because of the value of spare parts and the ease of selling them on.

It is thought one criminal gang may be behind the thefts.

Now police are warning owners to take extra precautions and consider investing in alarm systems.

Insp Phil Davies said: “Land Rovers are one of the most stolen vehicles in the country and there is an international spare parts market that is quite lucrative.

“These vehicles are almost certainly being targeted for spare parts to be sold on, with the secondary market of scrap metal if they are unable to do it.”

Doors and bonnets for Land Rover Defenders can sell for around £200 through official dealers.

In the past three weeks eight such thefts have been reported to police, most of them in Barrowford.

A spokesman for Hillendale Land Rover, in Nelson, said they had dealt with a number of customers who had been affected.

He said: “It is hard to say why these parts are being taken, it could be to be shipped abroad, to sell in the UK or to be melted down.

“The Land Rover has global appeal and there are a lot of vehicles out there.”

Insp Davies said: “I would think Barrowford has been targeted because of the easy road and motorway links there.

“It is also a rural area so there is a high number of people likely to own these vehicles in that area.”

All the incidents so far have occurred at night, and Insp Davies said the thieves would be skilled in what they are doing.

Officers have stepped up patrols and are urging anyone with information or who sees anything suspicious to contact the police.

“It is very likely to be one gang of criminals who are doing this,” said Insp Davies.

“The majority of offences have occurred in the Barrowford area over the last few weeks and I urge people to be extra vigilant and report anything suspicious to the police.

“I would urge Land Rover owners if possible park their vehicle in a garage and secure location.

“If that isn’t possible then they should consider getting extra security for their vehicles and getting a good alarm system.”

As well as the incidents in Barrowford there has also been a two reported in Trawden.

Anyone with information can contact police on 0845 125 3545. Alternatively they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.