Don't gift your machinery to brazen burglars this Christmas
Tis the season to be cautious as the festive time of year presents a golden opportunity for thieves to target farms. But there are steps you can take to safeguard your property
The amount of farm machinery and equipment being stolen from farms around the country each week is shocking. Christmas time represents a golden opportunity for further crime as yards are left vacant for long periods. The cloak of dark evenings also make would-be thieves' lives easier.
Farm machinery and equipment theft seems to be getting more brazen in nature. A report on RTÉ recently detailed how four people were arrested for a vintage car scam in which vulnerable and elderly owners were being targeted and conned out of the true value of their property.
And last month there was the unbelievable case where a Midlands farmer had his pick-up truck and trailer containing 60 sheep and his sheepdog stolen. All of this happened in an instant after he had stopped at a filling station and went inside to pay for diesel. By the time he came back out, everything was stolen.
But it isn't just cars and jeeps that are being taken from farmyards; everything from tractors, trailers, quad bikes, lawnmowers, generators, welders and chainsaws are regularly being reported as stolen from farms.
The latter items are a particular risk because they are smaller and easier to transport, while still being very valuable and resalable; a good chainsaw these days can cost €700 or €800.
As recent media coverage highlighted, these gangs are getting more brazen and predatory and they target the vulnerable every single time.
Could you do more to protect your farm and equipment in the future? The advice from the Gardaí is that the following screening questions can show whether there is a risk of burglary on your farm: