Local UUP MLA Robin Swann is urging farmers in the borough to take extra precautions to secure their tractors following a spate of daring raids in Britain.
He issued his appeal following an incident in Shropshire when alert farmers foiled an audacious bid to steal a £70,000 tractor after a conman faked a heart attack while another thief tried to hijack the vehicle.
Mr Swann said: “It is vitally important that our agricultural community secures all its farm machinery, especially tractors as they are not only central vehicles to farm work, but are also worth tens of thousands of pounds a-piece.
“I encourage farmers as part of their farm safety schedules to take the time to ensure their tractors are well secured. Losing one of these valuable tractors can have an immediate devastating effect on the efficient running of the farms. I also appeal to the wider constituency that if they notice anything suspicious they should report it to the police,” he said.