Thieves are targeting GPS guidance systems – stealing equipment worth thousands of pounds from John Deere tractors in southern and eastern England.
Eight John Deere StarFire receivers were stolen last weekend from farms in the Norfolk area alone, according to police reports.
Getting reports of 8!! John deere starfire’s being stolen over the weekend in Norfolk area. They’ll travel far. Agricultural GPS system. Even used they’ll cost about £1500-2000 @NFUtweets @ConEquipAssocia @FarmWatcherUK vulnerable farmers hit again ? pic.twitter.com/kccv1EqD64
— Lanty (@DarrenLant) March 18, 2019
Norfolk Police have confirmed that three GPS systems were stolen from John Deere tractors in the north of the county.
The devices sell for £1000 upwards second-hand, including on auction sites such as eBay.
Two John Deere tractors were then stolen in the Breckland area of Norfolk.
Beware there have been 3 GPS systems stolen from John Deere tractors in North Norfolk over the weekend ( believe that the tractors were initial targets) and then over the weekend 2 John Deere tractors a 5080 and a 6120 were stolen from the Breckland area pic.twitter.com/LzZAnYNTkx
— Norfolk Rural Crime (@RuralCrimeNfk) March 19, 2019
Local farmer Jimmy Gooderham said he had four receivers stolen last Tuesday (12 March).
A John Deere GreenStar guidance system was among £60,000 worth of GPS kit stolen from Buckinghamshire farmer Steven Lear earlier this month.
Mr Lear said he knew of seven units stolen in the county within the past fortnight.
Police failed to come out to the farm, he said – and seemed more interested in investigating the theft of a painting from an Oxford art gallery.
Nice to see the police are investigating the theft of a painting from an Oxford gallery on the news last night worth £40,000. Shame they didn’t even come out to us when we had all our GPS kit nicked worth £60,000 two nights ago. Apparently rural crime doesn’t matter now.
— Steven Lear (@farmerbiff) March 7, 2019
Farmers are advised to insure equipment and remove any devices from machines left in the field.