Theft from tractors in the Northern Netherlands countryside: don’t give GPS thieves a chance

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Northern Netherlands – The Northern Netherlands police warns farmers about the theft of valuable GPS systems from tractors. In recent years we have seen an increase in the number of reports of theft. Arable farms are particularly targeted in the sowing and harvesting months from May to September.

Increase of 60%

In the night, thieves seize their opportunity to break into barns and the tractors parked therein. In 2019, 16 reports of theft were made to the police, in 2020 the number of reports increased to 49. In the corona year 2021 we saw a decrease to 8 reports, in 2022 49 reports were made. An increase of more than 60% in three years. The total amount of damage in 2022 amounted to 1.7 million euros.

Mobile banditry

The police suspect that there is so-called mobile banditry. Criminal, often itinerant gangs stay in rural areas for short periods. In the space of a few days, they often manage to dupe several victims in the area and then move to another area where they strike again.

Police investigation

If a report is made to the police, we always start an investigation. For example, traces are investigated and if there are camera images, we look at them. We will also talk to any witnesses and we can conduct a neighborhood investigation. Unfortunately, we see that there are often few leads because there are no or hardly any traces of fouling. Camera images are also often missing.

Prevention tips

Prevention is always better than cure. You can call 112 in suspicious situations. For example, do you see a group of people in a farmyard? Is a vehicle driving around and the occupants seem to be doing a preliminary reconnaissance? You know your own environment best: don’t you trust it? Then call. In addition, these tips may help:

  • Always remove the systems from the vehicles and store them indoors or in a safe
  • Mark the system with a non-removable sticker
  • Provide good lighting, also at the rear of the company
  • Install a silent alarm
  • Place security cameras around the premises
  • Be alert during the day and note license plates of suspicious vehicles
  • Call 112 in suspicious situations, then the police can intervene red-handed
  • Warn each other about this method

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