Honiton farming family devastated by £60,000 tractor theft

PUBLISHED: 13:04 17 July 2017 | UPDATED: 09:05 20 July 2017

The tractor which was stolen from Higher Northcote Farm in Monkton, Honiton.

The tractor which was stolen from Higher Northcote Farm in Monkton, Honiton.

Archant

Mark and Katie Retter, of Higher Northcote Farm in Monkton, say they woke up last Saturday to find their blue New Holland Tractor T7.200 - and forage wagon attached to it - missing.

A farming family in Honiton who is going into their “busiest time of the year” has been left devastated after thieves stole a £60,000 tractor from them.

Mark and Katie Retter, of Higher Northcote Farm in Monkton, say they woke up last Saturday to find their blue New Holland Tractor T7.200 - and forage wagon attached to it - missing.

The couple believe the thieves carried out a “planned operation” between 10pm and 5am.

Mr Retter said: “These people drove the tractor across five fields before unhitching the wagon and going out onto the A30.

“We know no more than that - what direction they turned or anything. We are waiting for CCTV images to come back.”

Mrs Retter said she and her husband are “devastated” by the theft of the tractor, which they share with Mr Retter’s parents.

She added the forager wagon - which they managed to retrieve from one of the fields - has been rendered useless as the controls to use it were in the tractor.

“This machine was one of our main tractors,” Mrs Retter said.

“We have no idea where it is - we have not seen anyone on our farm. Our dog did not even bark the night it was taken - and he barks at everyone.

“We think it was a planned operation - at least for a few weeks - and I think we had people looking on the farm.”

As well as losing a vital piece of farming machinery, the theft has had financial implications on Mr and Mrs Retter. They have been forced to employ a contractor to carry out their silage work which could have been done by the stolen tractor.

“I think the tractor is out of the country by now,” Mrs Retter said.

“It is just a horrible feeling.”

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Anyone with information or knows of the whereabouts is asked to contact 101@dc.police.uk quoting CR/058026/17.”

They added: “The Special Constabulary have a well established Rural Engagement Team under the direction of SC Ch Supt Andy Turner which is very active across the force visiting rural areas and farms and encouraging the formation of watch schemes of which farm, moor, horse and neighbourhood watches are the most relevant here as well as imparting focused crime prevention advice.”

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