Appeal following theft of tractor navigation systems

Police Scotland
Police Scotland

Officers are appealing for witnesses following the theft of two tractor navigation systems both valued at a mid four-figure sum of money from the Insch area.

The incident is understood to have happened between Sunday, 10 and Monday, 11 May.

Police Scotland is encouraging plant and tractor dealerships, farmers and anyone who owns a tractor or similar types of agricultural machinery to be aware.

PC Kev Marron of the Crime Reduction Unit Of Police Scotland said: "The North east is a low crime area and this is the first incident of this nature we have been made aware of in our community.

“Thieves tend to target the external GPS receiver and the control panel inside the vehicle cab. These units when turned on can be located thus making stolen units traceable. The key message for farmers is they should take these units out of tractors and other farm machinery each night.

"The loss of these units can have a devastating effect on businesses and farms. The machines themselves should be stored in a secure locked area on the farm where possible and the sat nav unit should be removed and not simply locked in the cab as cabs can easily be broken into. I would also encourage the use of property marking kits and associated signage."

If plant and tractor dealerships would like a Crime Reduction survey carried out on their premises to improve the security or if farmers want farm security advice for their farm they should phone 101 and ask to speak to their local Crime Reduction officer.

Police Scotland would also ask that if anyone has any information about the thefts or if they saw anything suspicious in the area around the time to contact Police Scotland on 101 using reference number CF0140130618. To remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Commenting, North East region Scottish Conservative MSP Peter Chapman described the theft as a "sad state of affairs" for rural Aberdeenshire.

The former NFU Scotland vice-president said: "Modern farming uses an array of sophisticated machinery and electronics, all of which is specialist and none of which is cheap. Unfortunately, it seems that some criminals are viewing farmers as easy targets.

"This is highly unusual for Aberdeenshire and a sad state of affairs. These items can be traced but I'd advise any smaller equipment should come in at the end of the day."