A Warminster farmer is fuming after his tractor, worth about £30,000, was stolen just before Christmas.

Tim Akers, of Rock Lane, Warminster, arrived at his farm in Corsley on December 21 to find his red Massey Ferguson 54/50 tractor, with number plates reading WX59 HBE, missing.

The tractor, which had an orange three-pronged bale spike on the front, was stolen between 4.30pm on December 20 and 9am on December 21 from outside a farm building, where it had been parked.

The 42-year-old farmer, who also works at the cattle market in Frome, said he was puzzled at first but soon realised he had been the latest victim of a spate of rural crime.

Mr Akers said: “I keep my tractor and machinery at my small farm in Corsley, but when I arrived on the Friday morning it was gone.

“I scratched my head at first and thought I was being stupid.

“Then I saw the tracks leading down the steep hill and realised someone had stolen it. I was so angry and frustrated, because I need it to work and I’ve had to borrow another one for the time being.

“They are quite easy to start because they all have the same keys, but it must have been someone who knew what they were doing as they are not easy to drive, especially down the steep hill they used to get away.

“It must have been planned, but I just can’t believe they managed to get away without being spotted.”

The following night, on December 21, a child’s motocross bike was stolen from a private garage overnight in Corsley. Police believe the offenders went to some lengths to take the bike and it is thought it may have been a targeted attack.

Inspector Lindsey Winter said: “Both these incidents happened during the night hours when most people are sleeping, despite good security measures being in place.

“These are quite specific and distinctive items. If similar items have just appeared on a drive or land near to you, they would be quite obvious.

“If you have any information that may help us to recover these items and return them to their rightful owners, then contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers.”