A specially modified Morooka MST2000 rubber dumper was stolen from a Dublin potato farm last week.
The machine, modified for use in very wet conditions during the potato harvest, has a value of up to €20,000, according to farmer Paul Finnegan.
He said it was noticed stolen from his yard behind Peamount Hospital, Newcastle, Co Dublin, on 16 June around 3pm.
The potato and tillage farmer is offering a reward of €1,000 for information which leads to the recovery of the machine and Clondalkin gardaí are investigating the incident.
Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, Finnegan said the machine was parked in a lane in his yard at the site, which is “down a long lane and cul de sac”.
He described how a neighbour walking near the yard on Friday 17 June noticed unusual tyre tracks.
This neighbour then spoke to a nearby resident who said that on the day previous, Thursday 16 June, he had observed a blue Volvo truck load the Morooka.
This individual said that when confronted, the man driving the truck said he was moving the Morooka for a friend and that he was from Dunlavin, Co Wicklow. The man was aged in his 60s and is unknown to Finnegan.
The farmer said gardaí have tried to see if there is any CCTV along the road this man would have taken as he made his exit with the stolen Morooka, but, unfortunately, none is available.
Finnegan also said that he has been contacted on social media by an individual who reports to have seen the blue Volvo truck and the Morooka on the M9 to Waterford the day it was stolen.
Not easily missed
The co-owner of Finnegan Potatoes said the modified Morooka MST2000 rubber dumper is the “kind of a yoke you wouldn’t miss that easy” and that its value is in the modifications which have been made to it. He said newer equivalent machines sell for upwards of €40,000 today.
The farmer encouraged anyone with information on the stolen property to contact him directly on 086-815 2882 or Clondalkin Garda Station on 01-666 7600.