Farmers in the West Midlands have been warned to be extra vigilant following a rise in agricultural machinery thefts.
More than £130,000 of stolen agricultural equipment was recovered earlier this month in Solihull by The Association of Chief Police Officers’ Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service.
Last week a £45,000 stolen tractor was found on a farm near Solihull after an investigation by AVCIS and rural insurer NFU Mutual.The find generated another lead resulting in the recovery of an £85,000 tractor and trailer which had been stolen in November.
AVCIS said the tractor’s number plate had been removed and replaced with a false identity.
PC Chris Ruff, AVCIS’ agricultural vehicle crime officer, said the region was experiencing a rise in agricultural thefts.
“The equipment used on farms is obviously very expensive and agricultural equipment is a prime target for organised crime gangs,” he said.
“AVCIS and NFU Mutual are working proactively to reduce similar cases.”
AVCIS’ head of unit, detective chief inspector Mark Hooper, added: “The incredible cost of this equipment does make it vulnerable and AVCIS is encouraging owners to security mark their machinery and ensure it is stored in a locked and alarmed building when not in use.”