Gardaí in County Wicklow are seeking the public’s assistance in reuniting a stolen tractor with its rightful owner. The red Massey Ferguson tractor, 3075 model, with a 94 KE registration, was taken from the Ballybrew area of Enniskerry, County Wicklow last month. The owner of the tractor has described it as being in “mint condition with new tyres” and having distinctive halogen lights. The owner believes that the tractor was “lifted with a truck” and has urged anyone with information to contact the Gardaí. Gardaí are appealing to the public to come forward with any information they may have regarding the stolen vehicle.
According to Gardaí, there has been an increase in farm-related thefts during the spring and autumn months, which they believe may be related to peak farming activity. Recently, investigations have been launched into a number of GPS technology thefts from tractors across the country. Two thefts occurred on the same day in Rosslare and Wellingtonbridge, and farmers and contractors have contacted Limerick County TD Richard O’Donoghue to report that GPS systems are being taken from tractors, harvesters, and vehicles. John Deere tractors and machinery are said to be the main targets.
Gardaí have advised farmers to take necessary security measures to protect their machinery and equipment. This includes restricting access to their yards, installing gates, and attaching them to concrete or metal posts. Farmers are also advised to consider installing good lighting, an alarm system, or CCTV in vulnerable parts of their yard which are out of the view of the farmhouse. Gardaí have also suggested that farmers photograph their machinery and tools and keep a detailed record of the brand, colour, and serial number.
The theft of farm equipment is a growing concern in Ireland. Earlier this year, a report from the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) revealed that the cost of rural crime in Ireland had risen to €1.4m in 2020. This figure represents a 25% increase from the previous year. The IFA has called on the government to introduce tougher sentencing for those convicted of rural crime. They have also called for greater investment in Garda resources to tackle the issue.
In conclusion, the theft of the red Massey Ferguson tractor in County Wicklow is a reminder of the growing issue of farm-related thefts in Ireland. Farmers are urged to take necessary security measures to protect their machinery and equipment, and the public is encouraged to come forward with any information they may have regarding the stolen tractor. The Gardaí have issued an appeal to anyone with information to contact Bray Garda station on 01 666 5300 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.