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Farm equipment thieves strike Alabama town

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Thieves stole farm equipment from a locked barnyard.
Thieves stole farm equipment from a locked barnyard.

Thieves broke into a locked barnyard in Prattville, Alabama on Sunday and stole farm equipment and tractors valued at $88,000, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.

According to area police, thieves cut a lock to get into the barnyard and drove off with a John Deere 7720 tractor with front-end loader, a 1999 Chevrolet pickup and a 24-foot goose-necked, tandem-axle utility trailer.

The theft highlights how securing farm equipment may require more than merely locking equipment inside a paddock or barn.

The National Equipment Register advises farmers and other equipment owners to consider other theft deterrents, including immobilizing equipment when not in use. Vehicles with buckets or loaders can be immobilized by removing the battery and lowering blades or buckets.

Some antitheft devices can be installed to disable fuel, hydraulic or electrical systems. Removing vehicle tires is another way to immobilize equipment.

Additionally, inventory management techniques, such as registering equipment on a national database used by law enforcement and bearing a decal which warns thieves that this is the case, may act as a theft deterrent, the register advised.

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