Were lights stolen from Leeds Land Rover to grow cannabis farm?

Ian Moore with his  Land Rover Discovery after the lights were replaced
Ian Moore with his Land Rover Discovery after the lights were replaced
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A former police officer believes drug gangs may have stolen expensive lights from his new car - to grow cannabis.

Ian Moore, of Morley, woke up to discover the rear light clusters missing from his eight-month-old £55,000 Land Rover Discovery.

It follows a series of similar incidents across West Yorkshire which has led police to setting up a special task force to tackle the problem.

Police officially say the problem is linked to the trade in stolen parts.

But Mr Moore, 54, said he was told by investigating officers the powerful lights had another use.

“They told me they are a prime target for cannabis growers,” he said.

“When I started looking into it I found there are other cases up and down the country.

“The thing is that it’s so easy for the thieves to get the lights out.”

The incident happened overnight on January 12.

Mr Moore, who has had to pay £400 to replace the lights, criticised Land Rover for failing to combat the problem and warned other owners to be aware.

He said: “I’m so angry.

“Land Rover have produced a car that anyone with the criminal intent and with nothing more than a simple thin-bladed screw driver allows the rear light clusters to be removed.”

Det Chief Insp Dave McDougal, of Leeds neighbourhood operations, said the trade in stolen parts was behind the majority of thefts and urged owners to be vigilant.

“The force is taking the issue seriously and has been running an operation specifically to target the theft of parts from such vehicles,” he said. “That work has a seen a number of people arrested and stolen parts recovered.

“Officers are also working with manufacturers and using a range of tactics to target the thieves and those who deal in stolen car parts.”

In a letter, a spokeswoman for Land Rover told Mr Moore: “We cannot be held accountable for determined thieves who will go to any lengths in order to achieve their aim.

“Regrettably, we cannot pre-empt theft techniques devised by organised criminals.”