18th February 2019

High value stolen farm property recovered in Somerset

Nearly £60,000 of stolen agricultural equipment has been recovered this month in Somerset with calls from the farming community and some tracking devices helping Avon and Somerset Constabulary find them.

In the most recent cases, a Ford New Holland tractor (£9,000) and McConnel bale grab and spike (£9,000) were recovered at Ham Hill, near Yeovil. They had been reported stolen from Highbridge four weeks earlier and recovered on Tuesday (20 January).

Also on Tuesday, a 13-tonne capacity trailer (£10,000) was found after we had recovered a tractor which had been stolen at the same time. The John Deere tractor (£20,000) was found at Cross, near Axbridge on 15 January thanks to information from the public and that subsequently led Avon and Somerset Constabulary to the trailer too. They had both been reported stolen from a farm in Warwickshire in August last year.

On 8 January, tracking devices fitted to two quad bikes (£8,000) meant they were found at Ham Hill just hours after they had been reported stolen from Dorchester.

Sgt Stuart Williams of the Rural Crime Team said: “Enquiries are continuing regarding these recoveries, but we’re pleased to have found such high value items in the space of a fortnight.

“Particularly pleasing is that members of the farming community have called in suspicious sightings of machinery, and that two quad bikes had trackers fitted making it easy for us to find them.

“Farms and rural businesses can take advantage of our rural community watch schemes and get crime prevention advice and equipment by getting in touch with their local beat teams, and I urge them to do so.”

The recoveries were also made in conjunction with the Association of Chief Police Officers’ specialist agricultural vehicle crime division (AVCIS).