A controller unit for a Sulky fertilizer spreader was also stolen during the brazen raid on a farmyard. The thieves knew what they were looking for and came skilled and prepared for the raid, and were prepared to deal with the farm’s CCTV system. The theft of these units will mean a replacement cost to the farmer of close to €25,000.
Thieves are increasingly targeting GPS systems from farm vehicles as part of a crime wave which is costing farmers hundreds of thousands of euros. The Garda Vehicle Stolen Unit is investigating the theft in Cooley and warning all farmers and contractors to be especially aware of this growing type of crime.
Machinery owners should park tractors and machines securely at night and not buy parts that are offered for well under the market price and from unusual sources.
Police in Britain have also noted an increase in these types of thefts from farms and in particular from machines parked in fields. British police have reported that the theft of GPS systems is an increasing problem, with thieves targeting the external GPS receiver and the control panel inside the vehicle cab.