Gypsy Week Prompts Police Warning

Posted by Waikato Police on 27/05/2014

John Deere 6330

Gypsy Week, it’s a time when many farms, contracts and stock change hands but Waikato Police say all to often its when valuable farm equipment goes missing and they urge owners to be vigilant.

Detective Sergeant Neville Ross of the Waikato Tactical Crime Unit said traditionally, Gypsy Week is the period when hundreds of dairy farms change ownership and herds of cows move from the cow shed to the road.

"Potentially, this can create a number of traffic issues for motorists and the effluent from herds of cows can create a potential hazard on our roads drivers need to be aware of. But there's another aspect of Gypsy Week that can leave more than just a bad smell.

"That is dishonest people taking advantage of what's going on, be they farm workers moving on who are tempted to take "their" farm bike with them or opportunist thieves out to make a quick buck."

Mr Ross said Police are urging farmers not to be complacent when it comes to securing valuable farm equipment such as vehicles, farm pharmaceuticals, chemicals, firearms and tools.

The call follows the theft of a large green and yellow 2013 John Deere 6330 4x4 cabbed tractor equipped with front forks and a maroon Giltrap bale feeder on the rear which was taken from a Rangiatea Rd property near Otorohanga on the night of 05 May.

The tractor in the picture had front forks attached at the time it was stolen, not a bucket as shown in the image.

"The tractor's registration number is A2QKJ. It was seen being driven towards Maihihi after it was taken and was passed by a motorist on Lurman Rd about 11pm.

"We believe it was parked up on a Ngaroma property overnight and we have evidence it was in the area of the Waipapa Dam. It seems likely the tractor, which has an estimated value of $120,000 has travelled at least as far south Tihoi Rd in Whakamaru heading towards either Taupo or Turangi."

Mr Ross said Police are urging truck drivers and farmers to think back to the morning of 06 May and to contact them if they recall seeing the tractor.

"Gypsy Week isn't just about moving farms; it's also about moving home and for the kids, often moving schools. By being vigilant and securing the vehicles and buildings on your property you can remove at least one stress and ensure you start the new season with all your property intact."

Anyone with any information on the stolen tractor is asked to contact Mr Ross at the Hamilton Central Police Station on 07 858 6200.

Alternatively, information can be left anonymously with the independent Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.