Don't leave yourself wide open for the machinery theft gangs
Just a little more caution and some common sense precautions can save you thousands
With theft on the increase, farmyards stocked with expensive machinery, power tools, livestock, fuel, trailers and other equipment are a veritable supermarket for thieves.
Garda crime prevention officer Sergeant Dean Kerins says farmers are a major target for both opportunistic thieves and organised gangs due to the abundance of high-value items contained in every farmyard.
"Farmyards are often open places, with easy access and plenty of expensive equipment lying around," he says.
"They could have literally thousands and thousands of euro worth of machinery and tools left in plain sight."
The crime prevention officer's first piece of advice to all farmers is to stop thieves before they can even start by making sure there is no free access into the yard.
"If you look at farms in France, they all have a barrier of some kind at the gate," he points out. "Put up a gate and keep it locked."
Sgt Kerins adds that farmers have some bad habits that need to be rectified. Leaving keys in the jeep, tractor or ride-on lawnmower is a regular occurrence," he says. "You might as well put a sign on it telling the thieves to steal it. Lock the jeep or tractor and take your key with you."
Among the most commonly stolen items from a farm are cattle trailers, builders' trailers and horseboxes, which are often used to transport other stolen goods.