A family has been left devastated after thieves stole a £60,000 tractor from their farm during ’the busiest time of the year’.
Mark and Katie Retter, of Higher Northcote Farm in Devon, woke last Saturday to find their blue New Holland Tractor T7.200 - and forage wagon - missing.
The couple believe the thieves carried out a “planned operation” between 10pm and 5am.
Mr Retter told the Midweek Herald: “These people drove the tractor across five fields before unhitching the wagon and going out onto the A30.
“We know no more than that - what direction they turned or anything. We are waiting for CCTV images to come back.”
Mrs Retter said she and her husband are “devastated” by the theft of the tractor, which they share with Mr Retter’s parents.
She added the forager wagon - which they managed to retrieve from one of the fields - has been rendered useless as the controls to use it were in the tractor.
“This machine was one of our main tractors,” she said.
“We have no idea where it is - we have not seen anyone on our farm. Our dog did not even bark the night it was taken - and he barks at everyone.
“We think it was a planned operation - at least for a few weeks - and I think we had people looking on the farm.”
The couple have been forced to employ a contractor to carry out their silage work which could have been done by the stolen tractor.
“I think the tractor is out of the country by now,” Mrs Retter said.
“It is just a horrible feeling.”
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Anyone with information or knows of the whereabouts is asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org quoting CR/058026/17.”
“The Special Constabulary have a well established Rural Engagement Team under the direction of SC Ch Supt Andy Turner which is very active across the force visiting rural areas and farms and encouraging the formation of watch schemes of which farm, moor, horse and neighbourhood watches are the most relevant here as well as imparting focused crime prevention advice.”