14 September 2000
Stolen tractors recovered by TER
By FWi staff
FOUR tractors thought to have been stolen by a single gang have been recovered by the National Plant & Equipment Register (TER) in the past fortnight.
TER, which operates FWi Theftline, believes each case bears the hallmarks of the work of a gang of thieves who match UK vehicles with French plates.
They remove plates or serial numbers from equipment in France and send them to Ireland.
From there a ‘snatch team’is dispatched to Britain to identify and steal identical equipment to that detailed on the stolen serial number plate.
A Case International MX135 stolen from Buntingford in Essex on 23 Sep 1999 was recovered on 31 Aug 2000 in the Republic of Ireland.
The tractor, which had a stolen French serial number, was sold to the innocent purchaser for IR33,000 (27,000).
A John Deere 6400 stolen from Hixon in Staffordshire on 23 Sep 1999 was also recovered in the Republic of Ireland.
A Ford 8340 stolen from Tonbridge in Kent on 29 Sep 1999 was recovered in West Yorkshire on 8.Sep 2000. It was sold to the innocent purchaser for IR19,000 (15,000).
And a Case 5150 stolen from Barnston in Essex on 27 Aug 1999 was recovered in the Republic of Ireland on 11 Sep 2000. This tractor was replated with an American serial number.
TER believes the tractors recovered in Ireland may have left Britain through west coast ports before the thefts were even reported.
It estimates the thieves made a 60,000 profit on the tractors which are valued at 65,000.
Help cut rural crime. Register equipment and report stolen machinery through FWi Theftline