Wiltshire Police are warning farmers across Wiltshire to be on their guard following a number of thefts of GPS units last night (17th August 2021).
The thefts were carried out on three farms in North Wiltshire with more taking place just over the border in Gloucestershire.
The advice to prevent thefts of GPS devices includes:
- Remove GPS guidance receivers, aerials and antenna globes from tractors when not in use and keep them in a secure locked place whenever possible.
- Consider fitting security tethers or brackets to stop units being removed.
- Mark your postcode on GPS units – either with a UV pen, engraving tool or a forensic marking system.
- Store machinery in locked buildings where possible.
- Where locking machines isn’t an option, consider fitting mains or battery-operated alarms to cover around the perimeter of areas where machines are stored.
- CCTV and intruder alarms will deter most thieves, but make sure they are checked regularly to ensure they work when you need them and they are placed where they won’t be triggered with animals.
- Record machinery serial numbers and photograph kit to help police identify stolen items and increase the chances of them being recovered.
- Make sure your equipment has the latest updates including a PIN login.
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 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. These thefts are regularly costing farmers thousands alongside the inconvenience to get these systems replaced.
“Whilst in the full swing of harvest (between the breaks in the weather), this would be an ideal opportunity to remind farmers the importance of locking 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.”
If anyone has information regarding these thefts which could help the investigation, they can contact Wiltshire Police here.
You can also report anonymously to our rural Crimestoppers line on 0800 555111.