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How to Prevent Tractor GPS Theft

Thefts of GPS Tractor Systems is now a major concern for farmers as there is a growing market for these systems and once stolen they can lead to costly delays and extra expense.

Police are calling for farmers to watch out for signs of strangers in farmyards and fields – often they are checking out what kit farmers have before returning to steal it armed with knowledge of where tractors and other machinery are kept, and what security measures are in place. In some cases thieves, who already know the layout of farms, are targeting victims of GPS theft a second time.

Read our top tips to reduce your risk of this type of crime:

1Remove GPS : Remove GPS kit where practicable and store securely overnight. Use secure storage - consider a Secured by Design accredited secure cabinet or tool storage unit which can be fixed to the floor and offer greater resistance to attack.

2Use PINs : Activate PIN security on GPS kit with your own unique number if available.

3Mark or Etch Device : Security marking your GPS equipment using a Secured by Design recognised forensic asset marking or etching kit is a highly effective, visible deterrent to thieves and an established method of reducing theft - Remember to use the visible warning labels to show that the property is marked.

4Keep Vehicles Hidden : Keep tractors and combines out of sight - preferably in a locked barn when not in use.

5Record Serial Numbers : Record serial numbers and take colour photographs from several angles and additionally take videos with a smartphone if possible, including any identifying markings. If stolen, being able to track and identify your property is vital. Also, check serial numbers of second-hand kit offered for sale.

6Consider Grilles : Secured by Design approved grilles and shutter will also add a valuable layer of security to remote farm buildings.

7Be vigilant : Report sightings of suspicious activity in any fields and farmyards to the police and rural crime teams. This includes drones over farms, vehicles visiting that are not known to the farm, or trespassers. Look out for each other and be a good neighbour.

8Farm Office : If you are storing the GPS units in a farm office, then consider the security standards of any doors and windows. (Click the 'Standards Explained' button below to find out more).

Alarm Advice

If you have an intruder alarm, make sure it’s set. If you don’t have one consider having an approved alarm system installed. Visit Police Security Systems to find out all the information that you need to know to assist you in choosing the right security system for your home or farm.


CCTV with remote monitoring is a deterrent and will help protect both your farm and machinery. Due to the size and nature of farm premises, this type of 24/7 monitoring can confirm the cause of an alarm activation and identify any suspicious activity.

If you decide to use CCTV it is important to read the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) advice on Domestic CCTV systems.

Click below to find out more:

GPS theft is an international crime, with countries across the globe experiencing thefts and attempts to sell stolen equipment back into the farming sector. There are also homegrown-criminals stealing GPS systems as people turn to criminal activity to make a quick buck.

These criminals are well-organised and know what they are looking for - so it’s essential that farmers remove GPS kit where possible when it’s not in use and store it securely. It’s also well worth beefing up security in farmyards, machinery sheds and on tractors to make it harder for thieves to operate.”

NFU Mutual, the NFU and NaVCIS are urging farmers to activate PIN number security codes on their GPS kit. On older models without PIN security, marking kit with farm names and postcodes in indelible ink or forensically can make it harder for thieves to sell on and help police and potential buyers spot stolen equipment.

“High demand for GPS equipment is fuelling this type of crime and we are urging people to do careful checks on the sellers before purchasing second-hand items online.

Anyone considering a purchase should get photos showing serial numbers before parting with any money and check with the manufacturer that it is not recorded stolen on their system before completing the transaction.”

DC Chris Piggott
National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS)