Farm machinery worth an estimated €80,000 was stolen in a break-in at a farmyard in the Dundalk/Ardee area of Co.Louth in the early hours of last Wednesday night /  Thursday morning (March 28/29).

A John Deere 6920s and loader – number plate 03-LH-517 – a Fiat Hitachi EX135 digger and a Chieftan low-loader were all taken in the incident which occurred between 12.30am and 1:00am.

Tillage farmer, Colm, who works on the farm where the machinery was lifted raised the alarm after arriving on site at 7:30am on Thursday morning.

They broke into a secured, locked shed on Wednesday night and got the tractor out first. There was a trailer in the yard and they hooked it onto the tractor.

“There was a digger in an open, neighbouring shed and they loaded the digger onto the low-loader trailer and drove out of the yard,” said Colm, who didn’t want to give his full name.

Although the farmyard operates a security system – including a camera – the intruders “busted” through the electric gates, according to Colm.

We have them on camera; these boys were very used to equipment; they knew what they were doing. They knew how to load the digger.

“We have electric gates; but, it didn’t stop them. They busted the two motors on the gate and got out onto the main road. We have no information of any sighting since.

“We have them on camera; we saw the time that they arrived and left. I have an advert on DoneDeal; I have a post on Facebook with 300 shares at the minute – but still no joy,” he said.

Colm and the owner “remain hopeful” that the machinery will be found.

All three are worth about €80,000. It’s a massive loss to us; it’s a lot of money to lose. We have the tractor since 2003 and we have the digger seven or eight years. They are crucial machines to the business here.

The owner is appealing to anyone with information or details of a sighting of the machinery to contact Ardee Garda Station on: 041-6871130.