More than £200,000 worth of farm machinery has been stolen from a farm in East Lothian.
The theft took place at a farm in the Macmerry area between 8pm on Wednesday 28 November and 7am on Thursday 29 November.
Three vehicles were stolen, including a JCB with the registration SK07 GUD, worth £100,000.
A blue New Holland tractor, registration SN10 EBL, valued at £60,000, and a green and yellow John Deere, registration SN14 OZV, worth £60,000, were also stolen.
CAN YOU HELP?
We're appealing for info as part of our investigation into the theft of over £200,000 worth of farming equipment in #Macmerry.
Three vehicles were stolen between Weds 28th – Thurs 29th November, likely involving a transporter.
— East Lothian Police (@EastLothPolice) November 30, 2018
The thefts happened just weeks after rural insurer NFU Mutual warned that organised criminal gangs were using stolen farm equipment as a form of currency across the world.
Det Sgt Cameron Walker said: “This was not likely to have been a discreet theft, with the stolen vehicles believed to have been loaded on to a transporter.
“As part of our investigations, we’d urge anyone who may have seen suspicious behaviour or the vehicles being transported from the area during this time to get in touch with us immediately.
“Likewise, anyone who might know the whereabouts of the stolen vehicles is asked to contact either us or report this information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 1111.”
NFU Mutual has warned that organised gangs are stealing tractors and quad bikes from Scottish farms and cloning – creating new number plates – or modifying stolen vehicles to sell on abroad.
A John Deere tractor worth £96,000 stolen from a farm in Scotland was recovered in Lithuania. Other stolen farm vehicles have been recovered in Africa, Australia and the Middle East.
Five tips to prevent buying stolen farm machinery
- Check the price of the vehicle you’re looking to purchase is in-line with the market. If it is much cheaper then alarm bells should be ringing
- Check the seller has a valid address and telephone number. Visit them at their home or business premises. Never meet halfway, at a services or car park
- Give the vehicle a full inspection and test drive
- Always check the documentation related to the machinery or vehicle
- If in doubt, walk away until you have carried out research and checks to be sure
Source: The Vehicle Safe Trading Advisory Group