Farmers in Flintshire have become victims of a professional gang of quad bike thieves, with more than £15,000 of ATVs stolen in one night.
FUW member John Wrench, a beef and arable farmer, of Beeches Farm, Hawarden, discovered the theft of his 2011 Yamaha Grizzly 350, worth £2500, at the same time as three other bikes were taken when six farms in the same area were robbed.
“The worst thing is that the thieves broke through a security door and roller shutter to get into the shed the bike was kept in, there’s no way we could have prevented the theft,” said John.”It was definitely a professional job.
“It seems they walked through the fields, cutting padlock and chains on six gates and used any tools that they could find to break in,” said John. “The damage was even more annoying than losing the bike, so much so that we shall not be replacing it. We’re going to use an old small 4x4 instead,” he said.
Meanwhile at the Llanwrst Show, another FUW member, Andy Hughes, was showing a new anti-theft device he has developed to reduce the risk of robbery. The QUADCLAW is hand fabricated in Andy’s workshop at Brynford, Holywell. “The idea is to reduce the chance of losing your expensive bike from chance thieves,” he said. “There’s been a lot of interest in the claw, the increase in ATVs being stolen is worrying for everyone.”
FUW Insurance compliance director Roger Van Praet advises any farmers buying a new ATV to register it, and also fit a tracker. “The cost of these two simple and relatively cheap options will help to deter the theft of these highly saleable bikes, increases the chance of getting the vehicle back and may also reduce the cost of insurance,” he said. “Other sensible precautions include keeping the ATV in a solid building with security doors which is close to the farmhouse, installing security cameras and lights.”