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Farmer’s anger as thieves strike just as busy harvest season gets under way

PUBLISHED: 10:07 17 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:07 17 July 2020

Glenn Buckingham, who is angry about a costly combine satnav theft from this farm  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Glenn Buckingham, who is angry about a costly combine satnav theft from this farm Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Farmers are being urged to keep a sharp eye on their combines after thieves made off with valuable satellite navigation equipment from two farms in Suffolk.

The thieves struck at a farm near Debenham just as farmers across East Anglia are dusting off their combine machines ready for the hectic harvesting season.

Farmer Glenn Buckingham said he was “angry” and “frustrated” at the theft, which happened at his farm near Framsden some time between Tuesday, July 7, and Monday, July 13, while the combine was in a barn.

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“I’m disappointed that we are in this situation that people are in a position where they have to go and steal equipment,” he said.
The theft of the Star Fir 2630 GPS receiver unit and in-cab display – which costs around £9,800 – meant a delay to the start of harvest on the Monday morning.

Mr Buckingham, who is chairman of the Suffolk branch of the National Farmers’ Union, said: “It’s insured, but you don’t want to keep claiming on the insurance and it’s the disruption as well and knowing someone’s been around your farm buildings.”

He was trying to find out how prevalent this type of theft is across the county and potentially call for action from the authorities, he said.

“There’s obviously a market for them somewhere.”

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In a separate incident, several GPS systems were stolen from a farm in Elmswell.

Thieves entered a yard containing a number of farm machines, tractors and a combine harvester some time between Friday, July 10, at 6pm and Saturday, July 11, at 6.30am.

They drilled the lock out of five vehicles, making off with around £100,000 worth of GPS equipment.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the two incidents.

Anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity, has experienced similar attempted theft of such equipment or has knowledge of being offered such GPS devices for sale is asked to contact Stowmarket police, quoting crime reference 37/39507/20 for the Framsden theft and 37/39046/20 for the Elmswell theft.

Farmers and landowners are also being asked to review farm security and familiarise themselves with First Principal guidance at www.suffolk.police.uk/sites/suffolk/files/farmsecurity1.pdf

Anyone with information can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their online form: www.crimestoppers-uk.org or call 101.

In the event of an emergency, always call 999.


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