Newry & Armagh DUP Assembly candidate William Irwin has urged people to be vigilant after a quad bike and two calves were stolen in the Armagh, Poyntzpass and Markethill areas.
A quad bike was stolen in the Darkley Road area of Armagh in the early hours of Friday morning and in two other incidents a calf worth £300 pounds was stolen from a farm on Markethill Road Collone and another calf worth £300 in the Acton Road area of Poyntzpass.
Mr Irwin said: “This is another worrying spate of rural crime involving the theft of equipment and livestock and I know that Police are investigating these three incidents. There seems to be a pattern emerging where thieves are targeting younger calves that are easy to move and transport.”
“I would urge our farming and rural community to remain vigilant and of course where possible ensure that machinery is well secured when not in use. From experience on my own farm, it is very difficult to totally lock down a farm in terms of making everything 100% theft proof. The bottom line is farmers spend their time concentrating on making a living farming, whilst sickeningly criminals spend all their time plotting their next criminal act. However it is important that any step that can be taken, is taken, to improve security and I know farmers are doing all they can.”
He continued: “I will be continuing to liaise with the PSNI locally on these matters and I know that these latest incidents are being investigated. I am informed that operations targeting criminal elements is ongoing and I certainly would welcome any additional resources being directed by the PSNI at rural crime.”