Police are warning horse owners to be on their guard following a spate of thefts across the country

Police around Britain are investigating a number of tack thefts this month and are asking owners to report anything suspicious.

Leicestershire is one area which has had several thefts in May and June. Thieves have so far got away with tack and equipment worth more than £20,000.

Sgt Steve Rileyof Quorn police, Leics, said: “In the past few weeks we have dealt with a number of tack thefts. At the moment we don’t know if they are linked but are investigating the possibility.”

Thieves appear to be targeting rural areas,in particular stables which are some distance away from a house or residential area. Officers investigating the incidents have all expressed amazement at how insecure some tack rooms are.

As well as small private yards, big livery establishments have also been targeted. Police believe that these are carefully planned attacks.

One incident saw thieves taking more than £11,000 worth of tack. Another involved the theft of driving equipment used by disabled drivers, when The Scropton Equestrian Centre in South Derbyshire had several harnesses stolen.

Derbyshire’s Horsewatch co-ordinator Sgt Erica Green is advising people to be vigilant: “Derbyshire has suffered a number of thefts ranging from planned raids to opportunist burglaries. The best way of protecting your property is not to leave it in a vulnerable place. Instead take it home, where it should be covered by your household insurance.”

“If you do have to leave tack at your yard, get it marked and lock it securely away. Padlocks and chains will deter opportunists, as well as determined burglars.”

Another area to be targeted is Cornwall. In one incident a private yard was cleared of all its equipment after it was loaded into their trailer and towed away.

PC Mark Jory who is investigating the case said: “This was clearly not an opportunist burglary. The yard was in a very isolated area and someone obviously knew exactly what they wanted.”

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Burglaries carried out on three neighbouring Pony Club branches have resulted in show jumps and trailers worth more than £15,000 being stolen.

The Puckeridge, Essex Union and Newmarket and Thurlow Hunt branches have all been victims of the thefts, which members suspect are the result of a carefully thought-out campaign.

The Essex Union lost almost £3,000-worth of plastic Jump 4 Joy competition weight show jumps. The burglary took place sometime between Monday, 17 and Wednesday, 19 June on a farm near Chelmsford, Essex. All the wings and poles were heat imprinted with EUPC, which could not be removed without damage to the surface.

The Puckeridge branch also had a set of Jump 4 Joy show jumps and two trailers stolen, which all together amounts to a loss of around £7,000.

When the Newmarket and Thurlow Hunt branch had itsjumps and trailer stolen recently, it was for the second time in as almost many years. The most recent occasion was on the weekend of its hunter trials at Horseheath, when a trailer worth almost £3,000 and equipment worth £3,000 was taken.

Mr Simpson, DC for the branch said: “The general feeling is that these are inside jobs – that people know where the trailers are and where they’re going to be.”

If anyone has any information please contact Chelmsford Police on (tel: 01245 491212).

If you see any thing suspicious or can help the police with their enquiries then contact Crimestoppers (tel: 0800 555111) or visit their website www.crimestoppers-uk.org

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