Tip-off leads farmer to stolen tractor

January 13, 2014

An Armagh farmer took the law into his own hands and successfully tracked down and recovered his tractor that had been stolen from his farm days beforehand.

The stolen machinery was discovered at a derelict farm close to Belleek and its recovery led to the arrest of two men, one of whom was overpowered at the scene.

Police received reports that a Ford 7840 was stolen from the Loughgall area on Sunday 4th January, while days later the thieves struck again and made off with a Case Puma tractor from property on the Aghanore Road area of the city sometime overnight on Tuesday 7th/Wednesday 8th January.

Alongside the police investigation into the loss of his machinery, the owner of the Ford tractor took matters into his own hands and conducted his own research. His enquiries led him to a property on the Lower Aghincurk Road, Belleek, where, on Wednesday evening, he discovered his own tractor and the Case Puma.

Upon making the discovery, the owner of the tractor came across a man nearby whom he believed was involved in the theft, and a struggle between the pair ensued.   The tractor owner overpowered the second man and subsequently took him to Armagh police station where the 24-year-old was arrested on suspicion of theft, possession of a weapon and assault.

A 21-year-old man was arrested in the Armagh area a short time later on suspicion of theft.  Both men were subsequently released on bail pending further enquiries.

Commenting on the incident, Inspector Kieran Quinn, Armagh Neighbourhood and Response, said: “The theft of plant machinery and farm equipment is one we have been working hard to address. Extra resources have been deployed in rural areas across Armagh to detect and deter crime and I will be meeting with local representatives and members of Farmwatch to discuss their concerns.

“While we are pleased that two tractors have been recovered and that arrests have been made, we do not want anyone to put themselves at risk of harm. I would urge anyone with information about criminal activity to contact police at the earliest opportunity so that we can respond and apprehend those who break the law without risk to any member of the public.”