Canny crooks plough for cash

First it was crash for cash and now it’s tractors. It seems the international criminal underworld has discovered that a lot of money can be made out of stealing top-of-the-range tractors and other farm plant.

The pickings are certainly rich – the crime wave is estimated to cost £3m a year.

High-end tractors can fetch more than £100,000, while forklift-like telescopic handlers retail for as much as £80,000. Meanwhile the cost of removing a vehicle’s ID plates and shipping it overseas can be as little as £1,500.

The audacious gangs have even been known to steal back equipment that has been seized by the police.