Members of the public are being asked to keep an eye out for a John Deere tractor along with a topper that are believed to have been stolen in the early hours of Monday morning (October 4).
Shane Thorne is appealing for information in relation to a John Deere 6320, registration plate: 07-D-30619.
Speaking to Agriland, Thorne said he is feeling “a little bit sick to the stomach” after discovering that his tractor was no longer where he left it in the field in Julianstown, Co. Meath.
“I was working in the tractor myself on Saturday, I got out of it at 10:00a.m, locked it up, brought the key with me as we always do,” Thorne explained.
This morning, Monday, he went back to the field in which he had left the tractor two days ago.
“I was in the field for 6:15a.m. I was looking around, with the dark, going ‘Jesus, it should be here’. We’ve a few tractors in the field,” Thorne said.
“And I had to go over to my dad, we’re working together, got into the harvester beside him and said ‘I think this thing is missing’. And again, I went looking for it, it got a bit brighter, I went to where it [had been] parked, and I followed the wheel tracks where they drove it out of the field.”
Thorne maintains it was probably taken “between 3:00a.m and 5:00a.m”.
“There’s a farmer working the field right beside where it was robbed, and he was only finished work at 8:00p.m yesterday evening (Sunday) and he said the tractor was still there when he was finished.
“I could follow the tracks of the machine that was on the back of the tractor – whoever robbed it didn’t know how to work a tractor because they didn’t lift the machine off the ground – it was on wheels but it should have been lifted.
“You could see where they drove it out of the field, up the road a little bit and the tracks then off the tyres disappear.”
Thorne said that about a year ago, “from the same field”, a tractor and front loader were also taken.
“We had to get a new tractor to replace that one and that was sitting in the field as well,” he said.
“They tried to rob that one, but there’s a kill switch hidden in the tractor. I locked it myself Saturday because I only filled it with diesel, and the chap who drives it every morning went to it there this morning and the door was unlocked.”
With the John Deere that was taken this morning, Thorne said “the real sickener” is that the “machine on the back of it, we only got it two months ago, it was a topper for parsnips and it’s worth more than the tractor”.
Thorne feels that this is a “very distinctive machine” and that if there is an attempt for it to be “sold second-hand, it’d be easily spotted”.
“There’s only three of them in Ireland at the minute. We’d find that sooner than the tractor I’d say,” he added.
Thorne, who made a report to Gardaí earlier today, said that he is hoping his Facebook post will help with locating the missing machinery.