Thieves steal GPS guidance screens from eleven tractors

Criminals stole GPS guidance screens worth over £10,000 from eleven tractors at the farm
Criminals stole GPS guidance screens worth over £10,000 from eleven tractors at the farm

Thieves have stolen more than £10,000 worth of GPS guidance screens from eleven tractors in Cambridgeshire, police say.

Criminals have targeted GPS screens from tractors in Soham, at a farm in Barway Road.

The incident happened between 3pm on Saturday (11 July) to 7:20am the following day, Cambridgeshire Police said.

The thieves stole trackers worth over £10,000 from eleven tractors at the property.

The force said: "We’re encouraging farmers to remove the screens and other valuables when leaving their vehicles and, where possible, parking them in secure, alarmed buildings.

"If that isn’t possible park them in well-lit areas covered by CCTV. Be on the lookout and report suspicious behaviour to us via 101," the police added.

It comes as NFU Mutual recently said that the theft of GPS equipment was becoming 'big business again' for rural thieves.

"As well as stealing vital equipment, criminals are leaving a trail of damage as they smash glass to gain access and crudely cut wires," said Rebecca Davidson, NFU Mutual rural affairs specialist.

“We first saw thieves targeting GPS equipment from arable farms in East Anglia and more recently in the South East.

"This crime has now spread to other parts of the country, making it a national issue," Ms Davidson added.

How can I better protect my GPS equipment?

NFU Mutual has offered GPS security advice for farmers:

• Remove GPS guidance receivers, aerials and antenna globes from tractors when not in use and keep them in a secure locked place whenever possible

• Consider fitting security tethers or brackets to stop units being removed

• Mark your post code on GPS units either with a UV pen, engraving tool of forensic marking system such as Datatag

• Store machinery in locked buildings whenever possible

• Where locking machines away isn’t an option, consider fitting mains or battery-operated alarms to cover around the perimeter of areas where machines are stored

• CCTV and intruder alarms will deter most thieves, but make sure they are checked regularly to ensure they will work when you need them and they are placed where they won’t be triggered by animals or foliage moving in the wind

• Record machinery serial numbers and photograph kit to help police identify stolen items and increase the chances of them being recovered

• Let employees know the security arrangements that are expected of them while working on the farm

• Join local farmwatch or social media security groups to keep in touch with rural crime trends in your area

• Encourage farm staff to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour or vehicles to the police on 101, or 999 in an emergency