£40,000 tractor theft rocks Garstang family's farm business

One of the stolen John Deere tractors
One of the stolen John Deere tractors
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A family farm has been rocked after callous thieves stole tens of thousands of pounds worth of tractors from its Garstang base.

The theft took place in the early hours of last Thursday, where two John Deer tractors worth a combined £40,000 were stolen from the Barton family’s Stirzaker House Farm in Sandholme Lane.

Lancashire Police said that anyone with any information can ring 101 quoting crime reference number WB1803059.

Lancashire Police said that anyone with any information can ring 101 quoting crime reference number WB1803059.

Thieves broke in through gates where the tractors were kept locked in a silage camp.

Speaking last Friday, tractor operator George Barton said: “The police said they have never seen anything like this before.

“The big tractor was parking on the bottom end of the farm and the other in a building at the top end.

“They must have known we had two because it was hidden away. Nothing else was taken.”

The thieves obviously knew what they were coming for; they broke in and were ready and equipped," said farm owner John Barton.

The thieves obviously knew what they were coming for; they broke in and were ready and equipped," said farm owner John Barton.

The former Garstang Community Academy student added: “Police were here all day yesterday and found a torch and crowbar on a field they walked across and a drink bottle near one of the tractors. They also found a few footprints and think it was three people involved.

“At this time of year we’re getting busier and we now hav no tractors to do our jobs. There’s a farm across the road from us offering to lend us one which has been really nice of them.”

George’s dad and farm owner, John Barton, said: “It just hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s been very hard to take in.

“The thieves obviously knew what they were coming for; they broke in and were ready and equipped.”

The 51-year-old added: “I’ve lived at this farm for ten years and we’ve never had anything like this happen before. It’s usually a very nice place to live.”

The family are now asking for anyone who has seen anything suspicious or who may have captured the thieves on camera to get in touch.

A police spokesman said: “We got the call around 9am on March 22 reporting a theft of two vehicles overnight some time between 11pm on March 21 and 6am on March 22.”

The tractors are described as a 6920 (registration PN05 OJZ) and a 6430 (HY08 FGK).

The 6920 has a lot of stickers around the cab, a single chrome air horn on the roof’s left side, no front mudguards , and two new Ecco vision alert beacons. The 6430 has a front John Deere loader, a missing left hand door, no front mudguards and no mirrors.

Lancashire Police said that anyone with any information can ring 101 quoting crime reference number WB1803059.