4:00pm Friday 18th January 2013
By Andy Baber
Police are warning farming communities in villages around Warminster to take extra security measures after a spate of rural crime over the festive period.
The Rural Crime Team has become concerned about the number of vehicle thefts reported in Corsley and other villages around Warminster and western Wiltshire.
Farmer Tim Akers, 42, was incensed when his Massey Ferguson 54/50 tractor, valued at £30,000, was stolen from his farm in Corsley just days before Christmas.
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.
Tony Miles, of the Rural Crime Team, said: “The big problem for us at the moment is vehicle theft, whether it is Land Rovers, quad bikes or tractors, like the one that was stolen from Mr Akers in Corsley. We are asking any owners of similar vehicles, or other agricultural machinery, to take steps to make sure it is secure and fitted with the appropriate security devices.
“While we are doing everything in our power to prevent such crimes, it is helpful if those living in rural communities use up-to-date security measures, such as GPS tracking devices and Cesar protective markings.
“Anyone concerned can also contact the NFU, to find out more about what they can do to keep their vehicles safe.”
Mr Akers, of Rock Lane, Warminster, said: “If I’m lucky, police will track down my tractor and get it back, but it is a massive loss, as it affects my day-to-day work.
“Whoever took it knew what they were doing, as they escaped by driving it down a steep slope; something that is not easy to do.”
There were also three thefts of Land Rovers in three weeks at the end of November and start of December, from Corton, Tisbury and Sedgehill.
Two vehicles were Land Rover Defenders, but in one of the thefts a Discovery was taken.
In another raid, an Ifor Williams P6E single axle trailer was taken from an outbuilding in Kingston Deverill.
The trailer had been secured with a wheel locking device and a tow bar hitch lock, but both were forced.
Other thefts have included three Stihl chainsaws from Elm Hill in December, and red diesel and central heating oil across the Warminster area in the last month.
Inspector Lindsey Winter said: “This type of crime is frustrating and one of the most challenging to police.”
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