Three farms in North Wiltshire were hit by a gang of thieves last night (Tuesday, August 17).

Tractor satellite guidance systems were stolen from each of the three farms - and more thefts have taken place just over the border in Gloucestershire, say police.

Detective Sergeant Darren Penny said: "We’re currently investigating a number of GPS thefts throughout Wiltshire where both receivers and screens have been removed from a number of tractors.

"We know that a gang of thieves is targeting farms because they think security will be lax at the busiest time of the year.

"The thefts are regularly costing farmers thousands alongside the inconvenience to get these systems replaced.

"Whilst in the full swing of harvest (between the breaks in the weather), this would be an ideal opportunity to remind farmers the importance to lock away their GPS systems overnight.

"We appreciate that you are finishing late in the evening and starting early to progress harvest, but I would urge you to take just a few moments to remove these kits and lock them away overnight.”

The force recommends the following actions to prevent thefts of GPS devices:

  • Removing GPS guidance receivers, aerials and antenna globes from tractors when not in use and keep them in a secure locked place whenever possible
  • Consider fitting security tethers or brackets to stop units being removed
  • Mark your postcode on GPS units – either with a UV pen, engraving tool or a forensic marking system
  • Store machinery in locked buildings where possible
  • Where locking machines isn’t an option, consider fitting mains or battery-operated alarms to cover around the perimeter of areas where machines are stored
  • CCTV and intruder alarms will deter most thieves, but make sure they are checked regularly to ensure they work when you need them and they are placed where they won’t be triggered with animals
  • Record machinery serial numbers and photograph kit to help police identify stolen items and increase the chances of them being recovered.
  • Making sure your equipment has the latest updates including a PIN login.

If you have any information regarding these thefts which could help the police investigation, visit or call 101.