Tractor thieves’ getaway foiled by mud

PUBLISHED: 17:10 05 February 2014 | UPDATED: 17:10 05 February 2014

The Roe Group site in Great Ellingham.

The Roe Group site in Great Ellingham.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2013

Bungling burglars had to abandon two vehicles after getting stuck in the mud in their attempts to steal a tractor.

Despite breaking into at least three separate businesses, the would-be thieves were thwarted by soggy ground after trying to make off with a Ford 5000 loading shovel from a barn near the old Deopham Airfield in Bush Green, Great Ellingham.

Having broken in and taken the tractor belonging to Eddie Harvey, the heist hit difficulties when the vehicle was driven across a field and got stuck half way, according to a police spokesman.

Undeterred, the thieves turned back to the yard to steal a forklift, chains and lorry straps, in an attempt to haul out the stranded tractor.

Having managed to tow it to the other side of the field, they ended up abandoning it and fled the scene.

The forklift, belonging to Womack Building Supplies, was then driven across to another gateway where it was also abandoned.

Daniel Womack, from Womack Building Supplies, said the thieves had broken into the business despite a barricaded gate.

“Once they had got in and started up the forklift they could more or less move anything.

“They must have known what they were doing, because they weighted the forklift, which wouldn’t do much good otherwise.

“But from the sounds of what happened, they must have been there ages in that field,” he said.

The chains and straps were taken from The Roe Group, on Off Hingham Road.

Chris Pellatt-Morley, group sales manager, said the thieves had caused substantial damage.

“The chains cost £3,000 and the straps are £50 each, and they took seven of them.

“We’ve got them all back now but they will be have to be fixed, which will cost us money,” he said.

The incident took place between 4pm on January 24 and 6am on January 27.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact PC Cherie Smith at Thetford Police Station on 101.

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