6 December 2000
Theftline helps Garda with stolen kit
By FWi staff
AN ANTI-THEFT initiative for machinery, teamed up online with FWi, has helped police across the Irish Sea to identify stolen kit.
In September, the Irish Garda asked the National Plant and Equipment Register (TER), which runs the Theftline website with FWi, to help with stolen tractors.
On examining the six Case and John Deere tractors, it became apparent to TER that they were bearing the identities of French and US tractors.
All had been bought for the full market value by innocent purchasers in Ireland, insured by Irish insurers and in one case financed to the tune of IR23,000 (UK18,000) by a bank.
TER estimates the cost of the criminals operation to be around 5000, while the total of sale values was over 100,000.
The tractors, which were stolen from the UK, had French and US identity plates, leading TER to conclude that it was the work of international criminals.
All the tractors have been released for sale by the Garda. The tractors were owned by NFU Mutual Insurance, CGU Insurance and John Deere Credit.
Last month, TER helped UK and Irish officers identify other pieces of stolen kit including excavators and dumpers.
Farmers or dealers thinking of buying a piece of machinery can pay a fee to access this database to check its credit status and whether it is registered as stolen.
And to ensure this database is as up-to-date as possible, making it harder for criminals, Theftline users can register a stolen item free of charge.