Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Watch: Reward offered after brazen thieves target livestock auctioneer

CCTV footage was captured of the theft.
CCTV footage was captured of the theft.

Chris McCullough

A substantial reward has been offered by a well-known livestock auctioneer in County Tyrone for the recovery of machinery and family valuables stolen from his farm on Sunday night.

Brazen thieves targeted Richard Beattie’s farm and broke into his house as the family slept in their beds.

Richard woke on Monday morning to find thieves had stolen his black Toyota Landcruiser, a trailer, kid’s quad bike and a JCB Workmax utility vehicle but worst of all, had broken into the kitchen of the family home while he, his wife and three young children were all asleep.

Three thieves were spotted on Richard’s farm CCTV trying to steal another bigger quad bike but were unsuccessful in removing it.

Richard had spent all week at Balmoral Show on his trade stand and had just returned from taking his stand down on Sunday night leaving his trailers loaded with all the boarding and stand material.

It was the first real good night’s sleep the Beattie family had enjoyed as they were all tired from their long days at the show in Balmoral Park near Lisburn.

Richard said: “We had enjoyed the Balmoral Show all week and had a trade stand there meeting our customers. All week we had been getting up early and coming home late from the show so we were all very tired.

“Sunday night was the first night we could enjoy a long sleep. But I was shocked on Monday morning when I noticed the Toyota Landcruiser had been stolen along with the trailer, JCB utility vehicle and a kid’s quad bike.

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“The thieves had broken into our kitchen through a sun room door and stole valuables from there.

“Our children are aged six, nine and 12 and to think any of them could have come across the thieves if they had of went to the kitchen for a drink of water or juice does not bear thinking about.

“None of us heard a thing. We were all in deep sleeps. My CCTV in the shed picked up three intruders trying to steal more equipment.

“This all happened at 2.14am and it seems they were present on my farm for around 45 minutes.

“It is absolutely shocking and disturbing that people were in our house as we slept,” he said. 

The auctioneer is trying to trace the movements of the thieves via other CCTV networks with the police. He has also offered a substantial reward for information leading to the recovery of the machinery and valuables taken from the house.

Richard added: “The thieves actually unloaded our flat-bed trailer to get the JCB and quad onto it. The trailer was full of our stand material from Balmoral Show but they needed it as the other trailer was too small to get the JCB utility vehicle onto.

“They also tried to steal the bigger farm quad but couldn’t get it on to the trailer and there were no keys for it. They stole the keys for the Toyota from the farm office where they were kept secure.”

Richard says there are no signs of any vehicle used by the thieves to enter his farm. He has appealed for anyone with any information regarding this crime to contact him direct or call the local police.

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