Farm quad bikes targeted by thieves in mid Wales

Criminal gangs are targeting quad bikes on farms in a mini crimewave across mid Wales.

Since September 2015, 11 quad bikes have been stolen from farms and private properties in the area covered by Dyfed-Powys Police.

Seven farms were raided in south Powys and Carmarthenshire in November.

See also: 15 quad bikes stolen a week from British farms

Police say thieves typically target the same farm twice, stealing one vehicle in the middle of the day from the owner’s farm and another overnight from an outbuilding.

Sergeant Matthew Howells, the force’s rural spokesman, said: “The longer nights along with the bad weather of recent weeks are ideal cover for thieves to go about their activities undetected.

“Quad bikes are expensive and essential tools for farmers and their loss can have a big impact on the business, both financially and operationally.

“I would advise owners to property-mark vehicles, even fitting tracker devices, secure them within locked buildings when not in use, keep a record of serial numbers and take photographs of the vehicles.”

When leaving the vehicle, even for the shortest period of time, farmers should remove keys from the ignition switch.

If possible, when they are not is use, quad bikes should be secured to ground anchor points using high-security chains and padlocks, said Sgt Howells.

On top of a rise in quad bike thefts, Dyfed-Powys Police is also seeing an increase in the thefts of hand and garden tools being reported, especially chainsaws.

Police are also urging farmers to consider their wider on-farm security measures, including the possible installation of CCTV and linked alarms to protect property.

Advances in smartphone technology also allow owners to monitor activity on their farmyards remotely and even be notified when alarm sensors have been triggered.

Farmers who fit better security systems may also be eligible for a reduction in their insurance premiums.

The farming community and rural residents are being asked to stay vigilant at all times and to report any suspicious vehicles and people immediately by dialling 101. If you have information on a suspected crime in process, dial 999.

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