Farmers urged to secure outbuildings and deter thieves

Tractor in field near Selkirk raking grass for silage bags?

Tractor in field near Selkirk raking grass for silage bags?

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THE farm watch community is urging residents in north Northumberland to keep their belongings secure.

The warning comes after a farm off the A1 at Denwick was targeted by burglars last week.

Offenders broke into a shed overnight between 4.30pm on Tuesday, January 22, and 8.30am on Wednesday, January 23. From there they went inside an adjacent workshop, stealing a quad bike which was stored inside.

It’s possible the quad, worth more than £2,500, was put inside another vehicle by the thieves. Also stolen was a Stihl chainsaw and a screwdriver set worth more than £100. The quad bike is a red Honda with trim TRX250.

Police are appealing for witnesses to this burglary or anyone who knows the whereabouts of the stolen items or who the people responsible are to contact them.

They are also urging people to report any suspicious activity they see in their community at the earliest opportunity so officers can make enquiries.

Meanwhile Farm Watch is advising residents that most burglars are lazy and look for easy ways of getting into a house or garden. It says that a few simple precautions can reduce the risk of being burgled, and has issued the following advise:

Do not leave valuable property in a shed or garage that is either unlocked or so run-down that it’s no obstacle to a thief. If you suspect it might not stand up to attack by a thief then don’t leave valuable items inside, such as your tools, lawn-mower or bicycle.

Fit decent locks to shed doors - the fittings should be bolted through the shed door and reinforced at the back with a steel plate. Any hasp should have concealed screws. Padlocks used externally should be no less than 6cm wide and made of hardened steel. A ‘closed shackle’ type is best, as thieves cannot get the likes of a crowbar through the shackle to break it. The locks themselves should have no less than five pins.

Don’t be fooled into thinking your garage is any more secure than your shed. Many up-and-over style garage doors are easily overcome, but a padlock with a hasp and staple on the inside is an effective way of improving security.

Mark all garden equipment and tools with your postcode and house number/name.

Police can be contacted on 101 ext 69191, or via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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