A RECENT rise in break-ins at rural and agricultural properties across Monmouthshire has involved the theft of valuable specialist machinery including chainsaws and quad bikes, the county’s rural crime officer for Gwent Police has said.

Opportunist thieves have preyed on properties where security has been lax, making off with pieces of equipment often worth thousands of pounds.

In late April, a Kawasaki motorbike was stolen from outbuildings near Devauden. Thieves broke a lock on a barn door to gain access to the bike.

Another incident in Devauden, in March, involved the theft of a quad bike and several Stihl-brand tools.

And in February a quad bike was stolen from a Crucorney farm. This was reported just days after thieves stole chainsaws and car batteries worth £2,200 from a rural property in Trellech.

PC Louise Thorpe, rural crime officer for Monmouthshire, said: “Over recent months we have seen an increase in break-ins in the Monmouthshire area with the theft of equipment such as chainsaws, quad bikes and other farming machinery.


“Within Monmouthshire there have been a number of farming outbuildings where larger equipment such as quad bikes and diggers have been taken, while strimmer’s, chainsaws and other smaller equipment have been taken from garages.

“A number of [items] which had been taken have since been recovered and returned to their owners.

“Thieves are generally opportunistic, looking for insecure properties which appear to be easy targets.

“Since the implementation of the Rural Crime team earlier in 2019, we have been working closely with residents through engagement, reassurance and crime prevention to reduce crimes of this kind occurring.

PC Thorpe said Gwent Police had a number of operations looking into the theft of off-road vehicles, and was carrying out targeted night-time patrols in rural areas.

To residents, PC Thorpe said: “There are a number of ways that property can be secured, including simply locking sheds with a good lock, adding security lights or even installing CCTV cameras.

“Trackers and security marking valuable items is encouraged, as well as making note of identification numbers.

“As with any crime, we advise that every theft should be reported to us so we can see any developing trends and investigate fully.

“If you have any information around thefts in Monmouthshire, including any suspicious vehicles or unannounced visitors to farms, please contact Gwent Police by calling 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

“Alternatively, you can also direct message Gwent Police via Facebook or Twitter.”