Crime & Policing

Thieves target tractor GPS systems in East Yorkshire

High value GPS equipment stolen from agricultural machinery

Police are warning farmers in East Yorkshire to be vigilant following a spate of thefts from farms overnight Tuesday 27 to Wednesday 28 August 2019

PCSO Darren Bainton from the Humberside Police Rural & Wildlife Crime Team said, “Several farm vehicles have been targeted and their GPS systems have been stolen.

“It is understood the thieves across other police forces are monitoring farms for tractors fitted with domes on the top of their cabs – as this indicates a satnav will likely be inside.

“In Mappleton, thieves approached a farm and forced entry to the building, steeling two Trimble GPS systems and antenna from the New Holland tractors. The theft took place sometime between 9pm Tuesday and 10am Wednesday 28 August 2019

“In Burstwick, around 4:15am four men with a crowbar and angle grinder are believed to have forced padlocks to gain entry to a farm outbuilding and removed items including a generator, a Makita Drill and tools. A quad bike was also started but left at the seen

“I would ask all rural communities in the East riding to be aware of these thefts and to remain vigilant – if you see any suspicious activity please call 999 if a crime is in progress or in an emergency or 101 in a non-emergency.”

“GPS systems are becoming as essential for farmers and losing them, and the information they hold, can have a considerable effect on farm businesses.

“I am advising farmers to remove these units from their tractors and other farm machinery each night. Don’t leave them in a locked cab, as these can be broken into. We would also ask farmers to consider using property marking kits as an added security measure.”

Anyone with any information should contact their local police station on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.  The Mappleton investigation number is 16/97531/19 and the burglary in Burstwick is police investigation number 16/97523/19.

GPS system thefts on the rise – NFU Mutual

Rural insurer NFU Mutual has seen a recent spike in the number of claims for tractor GPS computer system thefts.

Clive Harris, NFU Mutual’s agricultural vehicle specialist, said kits typically cost £5,000-£15,000.

“Compared with farm machinery, even though they have a relatively low price tag, the market is worldwide,” he added.

“GPS computer systems are a key part of modern farming, so it’s not only the cost, but also the disruption to business, that has a huge effect on farmers.”

Mr Harris encourages farmers to:

  • Detach the dome when not in use and lock it away in a secure cabinet
  • Record serial numbers and mark GPS guidance domes and screens with your post code

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