Equipment worth a total of £16,000 (not pictured) has been stolen over the course of 5 nights from yards in Kent.

Police are urging horse owners to lock up and remain vigilant following the series of incidents in the Maidstone area, where rugs and saddles were taken from barns — or even from the animals themselves.

During the night of 2-3 November, 5 saddles worth more than £1,000 were stolen  in The Brucks, Wateringbury. The following night, 2 rugs were taken from horses’ backs 12 miles away in Pilgrim’s Way, Harrietsham.

The largest raid was from Childsbridge Lane, Kemsing, near Sevenoaks, on 5-6 November. In that incident, 3 saddles — worth £4,000 — a £3,800 tractor and a £7,000 generator were stolen. Further incidents have been reported in Lenham Heath, Broomfield and Wouldham.

Police are advising that all outbuildings should fitted with good-quality locks, and windows protected with metal bars. Security lighting, CCTV and alarms will also deter intruders.

Rural crime officer PC Michael Laidlow said: “We encourage all communities to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour to the police. We will act on any intelligence as quickly as possible.”