Rural Insurer, NFU Mutual, warn that criminal gangs have been targeting low to mid value tractors for export to Africa in particular.
A typical trend is emerging where Tractors are stolen from Farms, loaded onto Lorries then shipped abroad to developing countries. Less state of the art tractors are being targeted as they can be done up and repaired with basic tools and less engineering experience. These include all manufacturers, with stolen Deutz-Fahr, Ford, Massey Ferguson and John Deere small and medium-sized tractors recently detected on the Continent.
NFU Mutual’s vehicle security expert Clive Harris, who works closely with port police stated:
“The sudden increase in farm vehicle theft is extremely concerning. In the past we have recovered vehicles from Poland, Cyprus and all over Africa as the market is so strong for stolen tractors, but at the moment they are just completely disappearing.”
The insurer advises that Farmers have their tractors CESAR marked and fit immobilisers and tracking devices to help recover vehicles should they be targeted.
Tim Price, rural affairs spokesman at NFU Mutual, described the theft of tractors ranging from £3,000-15,000 in value as an “emerging trend’, advising, “It’s also well worth locking up tractors in sheds whenever possible – and at the very least parking them out of view from public roads,”
Rural theft cost an estimated £42.3m in 2012 – an annual fall of 19.7% year on year.
The above is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.