Brits Continue Tradition of High-cost Heists, Rob Jaguar Land Rover Plant Twice

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
brits continue tradition of high cost heists rob jaguar land rover plant twice

It wasn’t exactly the Great Train Robbery, but it was daring and ballsy nonetheless. And quite expensive for the victim — in this case, quintessential British automaker Jaguar Land Rover.

The company has egg on its face and no shortage of missing engines after thieves made off with a parked trailer full of high-end motors from the Solihull, UK assembly plant on Tuesday night. Two hours later, they returned for more.

According to the Birmingham Mail, the thieves entered the plant’s grounds in a stolen truck, obtained proper paperwork, and hooked up to the parked trailer. Six minutes later, under full view of security cameras, the rig drove out of the security-manned gate and into the night.

Of course, one tractor trailer full of Jaguar Land Rover engines only gets you so far in this world, so the thieves made a return pass. Two hours after the initial robbery, the process was repeated again. A second trailer full of engines vanished the same way as the first, bringing the dollar value of the heist to three million pounds ($3.75 million).

“They just hooked up the trailers,” a source told the Mail. “They were in and out in just six minutes with the first theft. The whole place is in uproar about it.”

The trailers have since been recovered, sans engines.

JLR, not surprisingly, wants the engines back, and is willing to sweeten the pot for any Good Samaritan who comes forward with information.

“A reward is on offer to anyone who has information which leads to the successful recovery of these engines,” stated the automaker. Whether that reward is cold hard cash or an attractive lease on a Jaguar XE, we don’t know.

[Image: © 2016 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars]

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  • Asdf Asdf on Feb 05, 2017

    "quintessential British automaker Jaguar Land Rover" That's not true - Jaguar Land Rover is an INDIAN automaker.

    • See 2 previous
    • Mike978 Mike978 on Feb 05, 2017

      Quintessential - as in they are designed, developed and built in the UK. I am interested to know how or if the criminals sell/use them.

  • Ermel Ermel on Feb 05, 2017

    From what I have seen as a truck driver during my many deliveries to a certain unnamed North German carmaker with two letters, this is not trivial to pull off, but once you know where the trailers would be parked, not that hard either. The hardest part would be to get onto the factory premises in the first place: they'll only let you in if you have a) valid freight certificates where they are the receiver (and most of these will be unloaded at surrounding logistics centers anyway, so it would have to be something quite specific too), or b) if they ordered an empty truck to be loaded by them (some of which include trailer switching anyway). The latter would be my guess, as once you're familiar with the operation, you can just say you're from forwarder so-and-so, here to get the such-and-such trailer, and even if the real truck arrives shortly after, it would probably be dismissed as a mix-up at the forwarders' or anyway take much, much longer than a couple of minutes to clear up and cause an investigation as to what idiot registered with the wrong credentials there. Once you are in, there is little to stop you from hitching up to the wrong trailer and going back out, either pretending to have switched trailers as you were meant to or to have been called off by your dispo to do something else. Trailer numbers are not checked, and nor are trailer contents, on the way out. (That last sentence applies not to every factory obviously, but to those of the German carmaker, it does.) So definitely an inside job, but you wouldn't need to be high up in a forwarding company dealing with them to pull it off, methinks.

  • -Nate -Nate on Feb 05, 2017

    Heh . . The City decided to stock mounted & ready to go new tires on Budd wheels in the S.F.Valley as we did the most paving anywhere in The City, to save time . . So, one Monday it seems someone cut the perimeter fence (a rail line went past it) vertically and rolled away an entire truck load of new mounted tires . . Here's the rub : . A. the vertical hole wasn't as wide as the tires were . . B. when you roll a tire through a chain link fence, it makes the bottom of the hole square . . C. the hole's bottom was 2' off the ground and anyone who's ever busted 22" big rig tires & wheels will tell you : you don't lift 100 mounted tires 2' no matter what . . D. the fence was 2-1/2' off the ground and a sharp uphill in pea gravel on the other side yet no foot prints nor marks in the gravel . . E. almost everyone there had keys to the gate, most notably the worst thieves I'd even seen (why I flatly refused to ever have keys in spite of always being the first to arrive for duty for 20 + years). . I waited until the expected hubbub died down and the L.A.P.D. took their report and left, then asked the Shop Supervisors about all these little details . . 'shaddap Nate ~ get back to work' . . So, I did . Clearly they knew who was guilty but they didn't care . . Same here : it was an inside job, have no doubt . . -Nate

  • Pbx Pbx on Feb 05, 2017

    With modern trailer tracking devices the whole event could have been video recorded and tracked. These tracking devices are very difficult to disable. Time will tell whether this is the case for this robbery.