Search for stolen tractors ends in Poland

Kent Police's Serious and Organised Crime Unit has recovered more than L200,000 worth of stolen tractors and plant vehicles in Poland. It follows an investigation into theft of high value farming machinery.

Six tractors, stolen from Kent, Hampshire, Sussex and Berkshire, and one car stolen from the Berkshire area, have now been returned to the UK.

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More than 80 officers were involved in executing warrants across West Kent, Mid Kent and the Weald area.

Officers arrested five men who have been bailed pending further investigation.

Kent Police's senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Tom Richards said: 'Whilst the theft of farming machinery is rare in Kent, the theft of the equipment is understandably a considerable loss to the owner, both financially and to the continuity of their business.

'This high value machinery is often transported abroad and sold on.

I am delighted that we have recovered this large quantity of farming machinery but we need to prevent these thefts from happening in our local farming community.

We ask that everyone remains vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police immediately.'

NFU Mutual has stated that thefts of machinery such as tractors and quad bikes cost farmers about L17.8m in England in 2007, up on L12.6m the previous year.

Tractors can cost between L63,000 and L75,000 and even second-hand machinery can be sold for up to L50,000.

Some top of the range tractors cost more than L100,000

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