FARMERS across Huddersfield are being warned to be vigilant following a spate of brazen rural thefts.
The latest strike came at Lepton when thieves stole a valuable trailer and four-metre wide grass roller.
Agricultural contractor Andrew Nicholson had been working on Chris Hall’s Woolrow Farm at Emley.
He left the machinery out of sight in a field at the crossroads of Lucy Lane and Gawthorpe Green Lane overnight, but a local resident saw a tractor towing machinery fitting the description of the stolen property at about 10pm on Tuesday.
The trailer was worth over £6,000 and the roller, which weighed over four tons, was worth £2,000.
The farming community believe that thieves may be specifically targeting farm machinery.
Much of the equipment being stolen weighs several tons and needs specialist hydraulic lifting gear to move it. With new tractor prices starting at £30,000, there is a lucrative market in second hand farm equipment and also scrap metal since the price has risen to record highs.
According to Honley-based National Farmers’ Union group secretary Robert Nobles, this is the latest in a spate of thefts and attempted thefts from farms.
He said: “The thieves are quite brazen, they are coming on to farms during working hours, early morning or in the evening, and stealing the machinery.
“I have been speaking to farmers in Denby Dale and Clayton West and there has been a number of thefts or attempts in that area as well.
“The NFU is encouraging farmers and the rural community to be vigilant.