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Farm Crime Alert - GPS Theft Crowle, North Lincolnshire

Op Walrus - Agricultural GPS Theft Reported

Humberside Police have received a report that £20,000.00  worth of GPS equipment has been stolen from tractors at Rockscape off the A161 between Belton and Crowle. This occurred at around 00:20 hours on 29th March 2024.


If you saw anything suspicious in that are around that time, in particular any vehicles parked at the roadside nearby, please call Humberside Police on 101 and quote incident reference HP-20240330-0154.


This is organised crime that has seen a recent national increase. The thieves demonstrated a meticulous amount of planning in the commission of this offence and knowledge of agricultural machinery. They targeted specific tractors, only the ones that have devices that were easily removable, and knew where to cut in order to remove the interface screens without damaging them.


The thieves specifically targeted Trimble devices on this occasion but John Deere equipment is also seen as a preferred target.


In October 2023 Humberside Police recovered £200,000.00 worth of this equipment with two men charged with conspiracy to steal. These items had been stolen from all over the UK. 


We believe the thieves undertake reconnaissance before carrying out the thefts. This may include disguising themselves as outdoor enthusiasts with hiking or fishing equipment. There is the also the possibility they may use drones in order to locate vehicles they intend to target. Be on the lookout for suspicious behaviour, especially in areas where there are no public rights of way. Report any suspicious behaviour to the Police on 101 and quote Operation Walrus, if you think a theft is in progress use 999.


Additionally take steps to help protect your equipment such as: 


  • Remove GPS systems, screens and other valuables when leaving vehicles and store securely.

  • Park tractors and other agricultural vehicles in secure, alarmed buildings in well-lit areas covered by CCTV.

  • Activate PIN security on GPS systems, with your own unique number if available.

  • If your system is not PIN enabled, mark your postcode to deter thieves and trace your property back to you.

  • Keep tractors and combines with GPS stored out of sight when possible.

  • Record serial numbers and photograph your systems.

  • Reply to this message

    Message Sent By
    Lawrence Grant
    (Humberside Police, PC, Wildlife and Rural Crime Officer - Southbank)

    Neighbourhood Alert Cyber Essentials