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Suffolk Show director’s delight and relief after vital farm machine is found

PUBLISHED: 06:09 21 February 2016

Bill Baker, Suffolk Show director, is pictured in Drinkstone.

Bill Baker, Suffolk Show director, is pictured in Drinkstone.

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The farmer in charge of running this year’s Suffolk Show has expressed delight after being reunited with a large farm machine which disappeared from his yard earlier this month.

Show director Bill Baker was left shocked and distraught after the giant cultivator, measuring 6.6m, was taken from his farmyard at Tostock, near Bury St Edmunds.

The customised yellow Simba CultiPress was in an open-fronted shed, behind padlocked yard gates.

“I was just distraught. It’s a vital piece of equipment we use,” he said. “It’s a massive relief to have it back.”

The cultivator was made in 2012, and he bought it second hand last year. Although occasionally used in the spring, the cultivator’s main work is in the autumn.

Suffolk police confirmed earlier this week that a man had been arrested on suspicion of theft and £30,000 of stolen agricultural equipment recovered after police carried out a warrant at premises in Whepstead on Tuesday. The 24-year-old was bailed to return to police on April 8, to allow further enquiries to be carried out, police said.

Mr Baker, who is busy gearing up for his third and final show this year as show director, had appealed for help in locating his machine via social media. He praised the role of the police and others in helping to find the costly piece of equipment.

“The police, I have to say, have been fantastic,” he said. “You often hear people talking about the police only recording the crime number. That could not be further from the truth. I have not got anything but praise for them.”

He added: “It’s a good outcome, but I wish it had never happened in the first place,” he added.

Mr Baker said he would be re-examining his security. Following the incident, he was in talks with police and the National Farmers’ Union about the possibility of developing an alert system or network to help find missing equipment in cases such as his, he said.

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