Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

‘Organised’ criminals behind Keady farm theft

The overnight theft of hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of machinery and equipment from a farm near Keady on Tuesday last (26th September) was carried out “with a level of organization”, Councillor Darren McNally has claimed.

Criminals targeted the farm in the Crossnenagh Road area, stealing a raft of equipment, among them a valuable vintage tractor.  The Massey Ferguson tractor bears the registration plate JSY 34G.  Other equipment stolen included an Ifor Williams 12ft cow trailer, a Weeks single axle 10×6.5ft trailer, a PZ 5′ drum mower and a Ferguson two furrow plough.

Councillor  McNally says the theft bears the hallmarks of an organized criminal gang.

 “I don’t believe this crime was carried out by opportunists, the items that were taken show a level of organisation among the criminals involved,” he said.

“They are a scourge in the rural community.  I would appeal to anyone who knows or hears of anything surrounding this crime to come forward, this type of activity has to come to an end once and for all.”

DUP MLA William Irwin also condemned the theft and he urged the PSNI to make every effort to apprehend those responsible.

“There is significant value in these items and we have a farmer who has lost a lot of farm equipment who now must look for replacement items at cost and in the interim be without important equipment necessary for farming,” Mr Irwin said.

 “It is vital that the PSNI continue to investigate the recent spate of thefts and ensure that every effort is made to apprehend those behind this costly crime.

“It is important that the public also continue to report any suspicious activity to the PSNI immediately. Rural crime is a blight on our rural community and it is a scandal that these criminals continue to prey on our farming community.”