Three farms in the North Wiltshire area were struck by a gang of thieves who stole GPS systems from tractors last Tuesday night (August 17).

Detective Sergeant Darren Penny said:

"We’re currently investigating a number of GPS thefts throughout Wiltshire where both receivers and screens have been removed from a number of tractors.

We know that a gang of thieves is targeting farms because they think security will be lax at the busiest time of the year.

"The thefts are regularly costing farmers thousands alongside the inconvenience to get these systems replaced.

"Whilst in the full swing of harvest, this would be an ideal opportunity to remind farmers the importance to lock away their GPS systems overnight.

"We appreciate that you are finishing late in the evening and starting early to progress harvest, but I would urge you to take just a few moments to remove these kits and lock them away overnight.”

Farmers warned to be vigilant

The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) is urging farmers to be vigilant for thieves working 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.”