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You know things are bad when you have to chain your Range Rover to a tree
10 photos

Photo: TikTok/RealLifeBants (Composite)

Technology is supposed to make our lives better, easier and more fun, but in at least one specific case, it has only made things worse. Keyless entry and start of cars are partly responsible for the boom in car thefts in recent years.

In London alone, car theft has become so normal (for lack of a better word) due to the frequency and response of the authorities that in many cases owners feel it is up to them to solve the problem. Whether it is getting creative to deter thieves from stealing the car in the first place, or tracking down the stolen vehicle and then pointing the police in the right direction, there are numerous cases where owners are taking matters into their own hands.

But even in this context, this one case stands out. A video posted on social media was picked up by local media and described as a shocking insight into “lawless London.” It is intended to show how far some car owners will go and how desperate they are. They go so far as to chain their SUVs to trees when they park on the street in the city.

The video itself is short, just a few seconds long, and offers no indication of the part of London it was filmed in or any other relevant information. It shows a Range Rover tied to a tree with a thick chain and padlocked for extra security. The chain is attached to the rear bumper of the car and presumably just the sight of it would deter a thief from even thinking about stealing the car.

Land Rover is spotted chained to a tree as if that might deter car thieves

Photo: TikTok/RealLifeBants

This will come as no surprise, but a chain can’t protect even an old and rusty bike from theft – and we’re not even talking about motor-assisted bikes. Chains can easily be broken with cordless angle grinders and bolt cutters, and thieves in London, where moped crime has increased in recent years, know this only too well.

There are far more effective ways to prevent car theft than the age-old thing where you need a key to start the car. A steering wheel lock, kill switch or even a PIN-enabled add-on device would work much better than what the chain lock is trying to achieve here.

But that wouldn’t look so dramatic on social media. It’s just a nice way of suggesting that the video may have been staged for clicks, because that’s what happens. The reality it depicts, however, is very real (heh): car thefts are on the rise in London, and Land Rovers are among the most sought-after commodities for thieves.

Land Rover is spotted chained to a tree as if that might deter car thieves

Photo: TikTok/RealLifeBants

Figures released by the DVLA (Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency) for 2023 show that five of the top 10 most stolen car models are Jaguar Land Rover. That’s the kind of accolade no car manufacturer wants, but JLR assures that it had nothing to do with last month’s announcement of offering up to £1 million (about $1.2 million) to help police catch car thieves, nor with JLR’s price slump in recent months.

Former Top Gear presenter and current Sun columnist Jeremy Clarkson points out that the increasing attractiveness of Land Rovers to thieves has also led to higher insurance premiums for owners and there have even been cases where insurance companies have stopped insuring the vehicles altogether. “Today it is expensive and difficult to get insurance,” he says.

One thing is for sure though, chaining your Land Rover to a tree won’t do you much good in this regard other than making you trend on TikTok.

@reallifebants Just another day in London ‍♂️ ‍♂️ ‍♂️ ‍♂️ ‍♂️ ‍♂️ #viral #fyp ♬ Originalton – RealLifeBants

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