Farm Ireland

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Farmer (81) 'extremely upset' after farm is targeted by thieves for a second time

A livestock trailer similar to the one stolen
A livestock trailer similar to the one stolen

Myles Buchanan

Thieves used a small half-hour window of opportunity to steal a livestock trailer from an 81-year-old farmer in Hollywood.

Michael Kelly's son Tom said his father has been left devastated by the recent theft of the 12 by 5 Ivor Williams livestock trailer which had only recently been revamped.

According to the Wicklow People, it is not the first time the trailer has been targeted, as intruders attempted to steal it last summer.

"He is extremely upset and doesn't know what to do with himself. He was in bed when it happened and it was a big shock for him," said Tom.

"Only last year he spent the guts of €2,000 doing the trailer up. It would cost €7,400 or so to buy a new one. My dad is 81-years-of-age and doesn't need this sort of hassle. He is willing to provide a reward of €2,000 for anyone who can lead him to the trailer," he said.

The trailer, which was purchased brand new in 2009, was stolen on Saturday, February 3, between 8.30 p.m. and 9 p.m.. Tom's brother entered the yard to find the gate, which is always locked at night, wide open and the lock removed. The trailer, which had been left in the yard, was missing.

On the previous Thursday night, a white van was spotted acting suspiciously in the Hollywood area. Its number plates appeared to have been covered over with mud, while its headlights also weren't working.

In May of last year, intruders attempted to rob the same trailer from Michael Kelly's farm but were interrupted by one of his sons. However, they still made off with some expensive equipment. Tom believes that the same culprits may be responsible for the theft on February 3.

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"I have my suspicions that the same people were involved," said Tom.

"On the last occasion, they actually had the trailer hitched to remove from the yard when my brother arrived on the scene. He put the lights on and startled them. They ended up ramming through the gates.

"They stole a welder, an angle grinder, three socket sets and all the spanners and winches my father had," Tom said.

A neighbouring farmer also had a trailer stolen from his farm around the same time last year. Tom fears that gangs roaming along the Wicklow, Kildare and Carlow borders are responsible.

"By the time you get through to the police the thieves are already going over the border," he said.

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