Lincolnshire Police have reported that 13 incidents of GPS thefts from tractors were reported between September 17 and September 19 in the areas of Boston and Spalding.

The list of stolen equipment included GPS systems, Trimble 500 and 750 Nav Systems, Trimble Satellite Receivers, TOPCON and Intelliview Computer Systems.

Acting Detective Sergeant Walker said:

"This trend is deeply worrying for farmers who are investing in high-tech equipment to make their farms more efficient and reduce pollution.

"In an attempt to stop thieves targeting GPS kits, some manufacturers now provide personal identification numbers (PINs) to prevent the equipment being used by others.

Most GPS kits in use on farms today are fitted to tractors as an easily-removable accessory. To prevent thefts, farmers should remove the kit when it’s not in use and store it under lock and key.

"We would ask farmers to ensure they remove GPS kits if possible and to report any suspicious activity by calling 101, or 999 to report a crime in action."

Warnings issued to farmers

The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) issued a warning to farmers last week to be vigilant following reports by South Wales Police that there has been an increase throughout the UK of the theft of high value tractor navigation systems.

It is believed that farms are being targeted and the devices are being exported and sold via various auction platforms worldwide.

Fully licenced, these systems can cost upwards of £20,000 and all can carry unique serial numbers which can be checked with manufacturers.

FUW Glamorgan County executive officer Rachel Saunders said:

“We urge members across the county and indeed Wales to be extra vigilant.

If you are using these systems on your farm, take some crime prevention action by photographing all items relevant to the system including a close up of the serial numbers and mark them up with your surname, farm name, post code, etc.

"Any removable parts should be removed from agricultural machinery and locked away safely each night and not left on the tractors. The advice is for such items to be stored in a safe place within the main property."