A Dungiven businessman has revealed how one of two tractors stolen from his premises has been located after it was offered for sale to a dealer in Holland.
Howard Fulton, a tractor dealer from Dernaflaw, suffered a costly blow when thieves broke into his yard on January 11. They cut through his fence, drove two tractors worth £60,000 into a neighbouring field and ‘dozed’ them through a hedge into a picnic area where Mr. Fulton believes they were loaded onto a lorry and driven away.
Mr. Fulton put up a £5,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of both tractors, a blue New Holland TSA100 2004/2005 model and a green/yellow John Deere 6830 2008 model.
Mr. Fulton revealed yesterday the New Holland tractor has been found, ironically, thanks to an eagle-eyed dealer in the Netherlands who Mr. Fulton said knew about the theft after seeing details and pictures of the two tractors on his website. Mr. Fulton said the dealer was emailed pictures of the New Holland and given an offer to buy it “and we were able to identify the tractor as mine”, he said.
“I’m half happy knowing that I have one of the tractors back, but I was surprised at how quickly they had changed the registration and serial number and cloned it to a vehicle in Scotland. The tractor was ready for sale, and export,” said Mr. Fulton. “There seems to be a gang making a business out of this and they’re good at what they’re doing.”
Urging all farmers to be vigilant and take as many safety precautions as possible, Mr. Fulton said the reward still stands for information leading to the recovery of the John Deere.
“I’m hopeful, but I’m starting to lose hope,” he said, adding: “If I don’t get word about it this week there’s a good chance it’s gone.”