A stolen tractor has been recovered by Essex Police and returned to its owner before the farmer even realised it was missing.
Officers from Chelmsford Local Policing Team were on duty in Wickford on Friday (11 January) when they spotted a tractor that looked out of place on land off Meadow Lane.
They checked the surrounding area and searched the Police National Computer to find the owner.
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— Essex Police (@EssexPoliceUK) January 11, 2019
When officers contacted the farmer to inform him of his missing tractor, it became clear he was unaware it had been stolen overnight from his land off Walden House Road, Great Totham.
The Massey Ferguson 1532 compact tractor was returned to him that day. Investigations are ongoing.
Sgt Richard Everitt, from Chelmsford Local Policing Team, said: “The man was pleased his tractor had been recovered so quickly but, of course, frustrated that it had been stolen.
“We will continue to disrupt and tackle theft in rural areas.”
Anyone with information about criminal activity in rural communities in Essex is asked to call 101 or report it online.
Alternatively, an anonymous report can be made through Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.
Farm vehicle theft protection advice
Where possible, vehicles should be housed in a lockable garage or building, ideally with security lighting installed to the perimeter
- Vehicles should always be locked when not in use, with the keys kept hidden and locked away in a secure location.
- Keep recordings or photographs of serial numbers and vehicles, as these can be crucial in recovery.
- Machinery should be marked with DNA marking devices.
- Etch the vehicle identification number on windows.
- Install immobilisers, chip keys and trackers.
- Fit locks and wheel locks to trailers when they are not in use; these can also be marked to identify who they belong to.
- Paint your postcode on the trailer’s roof to enable police helicopters to spot it.
Source: NFU Mutual