Farmer 'devastated' after technology worth £200,000 was stolen just before harvest

A farmer from Sussex says his staff have been left devastated and demoralised after thieves stole satellite navigation equipment.

Thirteen GPS systems worth around £200,000 were stolen from the farm near Bognor Regis last Thursday, just as harvest time was about to get underway.

Sussex Police believe the theft was linked to an organised crime gang and to a number of similar incidents across the country.

The stolen GPS systems were worth approximately £200,000 Credit: ITV Meridian

Neil Cairns, head of crop production at Sefter Farm, described the theft as a "disaster" for the business. 

The GPS systems were especially built for agricultural use and were stolen from their fleet of tractors overnight.

Officers believe the farm was deliberately targeted and say the theft highly planned, by a gang who knew exactly what they wanted.   

Sussex Police the believe farm was deliberately targeted Credit: ITV Meridian

Rural crime cost the country £54M last year, with the highest recorded figure in 8 years. 

Theft of vehicles, livestock and fly-tipping have all increased. In the South, three counties are among the worst affected.

Three counties in the South are among the worst affected by rural crime Credit: ITV Meridian

Matt Legge from the National Farmers' Union said social media is a "big answer" in helping farmers protect themselves by "getting the word out".

Sefter Farm will now increase security with more CCTV, improved fencing and have someone living on site at all times.

Sussex Police are appealing for witnesses to call 101.