Farmers in the Scottish Borders are being urged to stay extra vigilant following a spate of thefts against rural properties.
Thieves targeted five different farms and rural home in the one night on Monday (18 March).
An Ifor Williams caged trailer and Genset diesel generator were stolen from a farm near Mossburnford, near Jedburgh.
Three Husqavarna chainsaws were stolen from a property near Makerstoun.
Honda 420 and Honda 500 quad bikes were stolen from a farm near Gordon.
And a red Honda TRX 420 quad bike, with identifier 1HTE35P1D4601329 was stolen from a farm near Blainslie between 6.30pm and 7.45am the following day (Tuesday 19 March).
An attempt was made to break into a shed on a farm near Smailholm.
PC Nick Walker, of Police Scotland, said: “We would urge farmers and those living in rural areas to be vigilant and report any suspicious activities to police immediately.”
The crimes follow a similar spate of thefts in the Fife area, where three tractors were stolen from at the beginning of March.
Kate Maitland, NFU Scotland east central regional manager, said: “This spike in rural crime in the area is extremely worrying and the union is working closely with the local police to try to find a solution.
“Whether it’s the theft of machinery or livestock, or the deeply frustrating scourge of fly-tipping, rural crime has a huge impact on its victims, with the inconvenience and emotional costs almost impossible to fully quantify or cover.”
NFU Scotland advice
NFUS has issued the following crime prevention advice for farmers:
- Take extra precautions when securing any vehicles, machinery and property when left unattended.
- Lock doors and entrances, making sure all keys to vehicles are locked away.
- Keep all vehicles and machinery out of obvious sight.
- Install CCTV, of failing this, even a basic security system, such as a motion-activated camera directed towards the fuel tank, can be enough to deter thieves.
- Use social media to to share images and details of potentially suspicious activity.
Anyone with information on any of these crimes is urged to call 101 or Crimestoppers’ anonymous Rural Crime line on 0800 783 0137.