Recession blamed as farm thefts soar

Machinery worth tens of thousands of pounds has been stolen from a farm in Leicestershire as part of a spate of robberies police are blaming on the credit crunch.

Craig Langton had a £10,000 wood chipper, a Land Rover Defender and a Daihatsu Fourtrack stolen last week from Manor Farm, Burton Overy.

Mr Langton, NFU Market Harborough branch chairman, said he believed a gang had staked out the farm in the days before the raid.

A thick metal chain, which tied the orange Timberwolf woodchipper to a post, had been cut through.

The gang drove off in the Land Rover and the Fourtrack, which they believe was stolen to tow away the wood chipper.

The Fourtrack was found abandoned by police a few miles away on the A6, but the Land Rover has not been recovered.

Mr Langton’s wife, Nicola, said: “When something like this happens it is the inconvenience more than anything.

“A few people in the village are farmers and so it has been fantastic to have had so many offers of help.”

The robbery followed the theft of a £400 trailer from a farm at nearby Medbourne, while a Ford Escort was stolen from another farm.

Burton Overy was also the target of an earlier raid when 3t of scrap metal and five calves were taken from a farm.

A police spokesman said farm thefts were “going through the roof” at the moment.

“Along with the increase in scrap metal prices, fuel and the credit crunch, more agricultural equipment is being stolen to order.”

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