Two males sentenced to jail after stealing 20 items of farm equipment

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Two males who have been discovered with 20 items of stolen farm equipment have been sentenced to jail amid rising concern over thefts in rural areas.

Harry Hollowell, 25 and Vincent Bruce, 23, appeared at Bristol Crown Court docket simply earlier than Christmas Day after pleading responsible to conspiracy to deal with stolen items.

In October 2020, Somerset Police’s Operation Treatment group – who specialize in coping with rural burglaries – carried a stolen items search warrant at a farm close to Sparkford.

They found and seized 20 stolen machines, with additional machines since recovered all through the investigation.

The court docket heard that Hollowell and Bruce had been buying agricultural equipment stolen from farm burglaries within the Sedgemoor space of West Somerset all through 2020.

Additionally they purchased and offered stolen plant equipment which had been taken from constructing websites within the Cardiff space in 2020.

All of which brought on vital monetary losses to many farmers, landowners and small companies, Bristol Crown Court docket heard.

Hollowell was sentenced to a few years and a couple of months imprisonment and Bruce for one 12 months and 4 months. Bruce had his sentence suspended for 2 years.

In sentencing, the choose stated Hollowell had “performed the main function in knowledgeable and complicated enterprise’ and he had profited from the loss and stress of people that have been ‘nearly like neighbours”.

A 3rd man, Piotr Szor, 43, was additionally sentenced similtaneously Hollowell and Bruce after pleading responsible to conspiracy to deal with stolen items for an unrelated incident.

The court docket heard how in October 2020, a tractor and telehandler value round £80,000 have been stolen from a farm housebreaking in East Somerset.

Szor had organised for the equipment to be loaded onto a lorry certain for Poland. Nonetheless, officers intercepted the lorry, recovered the equipment, and arrested him for his involvement.

Szor was sentenced to at least one 12 months imprisonment, suspended for 2 years.

Talking following the sentence, Det Supt James Raphael stated: “The useless acts of Hollowell, Bruce and Szor has value the victims a whole bunch of 1000’s of kilos in each supplies and time.

“We’re devoted to supporting our rural communities and this case is a superb instance of the work carried out by our Operation Treatment and Rural Affairs Unit, working in collaboration with our car examiners.

“We hope it’s reassuring to folks within the rural group that motion is being taken towards criminals who steal the livelihoods of others.”

Figures present that the price of rural theft within the UK shot up by almost 1 / 4 final 12 months as extremely organised gangs of criminals continued to plague the countryside.

The UK value of GPS theft elevated by 15% to £1.8m in 2022, whereas quad and ATV theft value £3 million, a 34% rise on the earlier 12 months.

The NFU stated the large improve in legal exercise was considerably impacting farm companies.

The union’s vp, David Exwood stated: “Over the previous 18 months extremely organised gangs of criminals have continued to plague the British countryside.

“The large improve we’ve seen in legal exercise is considerably impacting farm companies and farming households each financially and emotionally, with many rural communities left feeling susceptible and intimidated.”


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