CHEEKY thieves who stole a Land Rover left a note at the scene of the crime – thanking the owner.

Dave Marshall, 49, from Harvest Drive in Sindlesham, was baffled on Friday when he returned to where he parked his dark green Land Rover Defender 90 near his home – only to find it had gone.

The criminals had, however, left behind the steering wheel lock and a message scrawled on a road sign next to it, which said: ‘Thanks saved your lock for your new landy [Land Rover]’.

Mr Marshall said: “They wrote the message – then drove away. It shows that they can’t spell or write or anything.” Mr Marshall has owned the vehicle for five years but this is not the first time the four-wheel drive has gone missing, after it was stolen in Ascot in 2011.

Mr Marshall said: “It was taken from the Grand Regency Heights carpark in Ascot. It turned up about two months later in Feltham; it had been abandoned. They had just driven it around and dumped it after it got a flat tyre.

“Hopefully they’ll get a flat tyre this time or run out of petrol. It didn’t have a lot in it.” However, Mr Marshall said he was “fully expecting” it to return again but added he would be adding more security measures to it, having already installed an immobiliser after the incident in 2011.

He said: “I didn’t see any glass on the floor so I don’t know how they got in, I imagine they just levered the door.

“I think they sawed the steering wheel though, as the lock was still locked. I don’t know how they got through the immobiliser.” Mr Marshall, a marketing manager described how he parked the car in the communal residents’ parking bays in Harvest Drive the day before, but went to check on it the next evening while walking his dog, estimating it was stolen earlier that afternoon.

He added the car, which is worth about £4,500, had nothing valuable in it, but speculated it has been a target as it is a popular make of car.

If you have any information about the theft, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.