FARMERS are being warned to keep their agricultural vehicles secure after thieves stole a forklift from a farm and used it to rip out a cash machine from a petrol station in Totnes.

Police across the South Hams say they wish to raise awareness regarding the possible theft and subsequent use of farming agricultural vehicles in the targetting of cash machines, particularly at petrol stations during the night.

The warning comes after thieves used a stolen Merlo forklift to rip out the cash machine at the Totnes Cross Garage forecourt on August 21 then a week later when three men tried to steal another Merlo from a farm near Kingsbridge.

A police spokesman said: "Last week, a Merlo was used to steal a cash machine from a petrol station at Totnes Cross. The vehicle was stolen from a nearby farm.

Then last night, three men attempted to steal a Merlo from a farm close to Kingsbridge, no doubt to be used to commit similar crime. They were unsuccessful as they were disturbed by residents.

"Please help spread the word and make sure efforts are made to better secure farming/building site machinery in order that these vehicles aren't used to commit further crime."

CID officers are investigating the theft at Totnes Cross, where stolen forklift trucks were used to steal the cash machine and in doing so, demolished part of the building.

Log 105 21/08/17 refers.