Gardai struggle to identify owners of stolen farm gear
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has issued a fresh appeal to the farming community to mark their vehicles and equipment after gardaí warned that they are struggling to identity the owners of stolen goods.
Ms Fitzgerald said she has been informed that there is a cache of farming equipment that has not been reclaimed, some of which has been stolen by burglary gangs.
Speaking to the Farming Independent, Ms Fitzgerald urged the farming community to report all thefts of goods amid suggestions that there is a reluctance to alert gardaí in parts of rural Ireland.
And she said that a new cross-border taskforce, set up following the recent successful Stormont Talks, will have a direct role in combatting the theft of stolen farming equipment and vehicles.
"I would absolutely encourage people to report. I would also encourage the farming community to report. And to make sure the vehicles and machinery are marked.
"And I would say the gardaí have vehicles and equipment that haven't been reclaimed because of difficulty of identification and that," Ms Fitzgerald said.
She said the cross-border taskforce would focus on fuel laundering and on diesel smuggling. "And it will also focus on theft from agriculture as well," the minister said.