Two men charged over alleged farm thefts

Two men have been arrested and charged in connection with an alleged £100,000 farm theft spree.

The arrests follow an operation by Lothian and Borders Police targeting rural crime in the region.

Between December 2010 and November 2011, around 25 rural properties in Lauder, Innerleithen, West Linton, Selkirk, Peebles and Biggar were targeted and a number of quad bikes, metal tools and diesel – either from storage tanks or from vehicles – were allegedly stolen.

The men, aged 34 and 40, are due to appear in court at a later date. Officers are currently following a positive line of enquiry to identify another individual believed to be involved.

A police spokesman said: “The various vehicles, equipment and fuel stolen from rural areas across the Scottish Borders has had a significant impact on the farming community and Lothian and Borders Police are committed to bringing anyone responsible to justice.

“We engage closely with all members of the public as part of our Community Commitment pledge and the issue of rural thefts is a key concern for many. This ongoing operation is not only aimed at gathering intelligence on metal thieves, but on providing farm workers with appropriate crime prevention advice to ensure their property is safeguarded from criminals.

“We will continue to work alongside partner agencies and the communities we serve and anyone found to be involved in these crimes will be robustly dealt with.”

NFU Scotland’s Borders regional manager, Lisa Roberts welcomed the arrests.

She said: “Farmers in this area have really suffered from thefts, especially of quads, and we’re actively promoting Farmwatch and a security conscious attitude on all properties.”

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