A MOTORIST whose treasured 4x4 was stolen from his drive has urged residents to step up security amid a wave of Land Rover thefts across Bolton.

Ian Walker, aged 55, was horrified to discover his 15-year-old Land Rover had been taken from his driveway in Whitecroft Road, Heaton.

He has now offered a reward of up to £1,000 for information given to police that will lead to the conviction of the people responsible, or the safe return of the vehicle.

Mr Walker, the company director of Bolton Van Sales Ltd, discovered the theft at about 9am on New Year’s Eve.

He said:“I think they must have rolled it off the drive quietly. I have two terriers and they didn’t make a noise at all.”

The incident is the latest in a succession of Land Rover thefts in Bolton.

On October 17, a Land Rover was stolen from Sandringham Drive, Horwich. And a couple were left bewildered when their green Land Rover Defender was taken from outside their house in Wilkinson Road, Astley Bridge, on November 28.

The “mystery theft” happened in the early hours of the morning despite the doors to the car being locked and the keys being inside the house.

A police spokesman said: “We cannot rule out a link between the thefts — but we are not treating them as being linked at the moment.”

Mr Walker is encouraging people to increase security. He said: “I think people need to be extra vigilant and get as much security as they can. I have heard of another Land Rover being stolen in the area recently.”

He said he faces a costly insurance claim if it is not returned.

The Land Rover is black with a white roof and its registration is K631 TRH.

No arrests have been made. Anyone with information can call police on 101.