Criminals are targeting expensive GPS equipment in Northern Europe.
Farmer and rental companies in Denmark, Sweden and Norway are being hit hard. In Denmark alone, there have been over 100 thefts. Now the GPS equipment must be secured with - GPS.
A GPS system for agricultural machinery easily costs more than 10 000 EUR. And the thefts therefore run up to big numbers and have at the same time hit the farmers hard during the harvest season.
"All indications are that these are professional who know what they are looking for and have the knowledge to sell the GPS equipment on the black market", says Deputy Police Inspector Chr. Østergård from the Syd- og Sønderjyllands Police Prevention Unit in Denmark.
In Norway, there have been waves of GPS thefts since 2017.
"When the alarm goes off in one place, people in nearby areas should be on guard. It is often traveling criminals who are behind the thefts. They raid area after area, move quickly and transport the equipment out of the country in a short time. Some of the stolen goods are recovered, butunfortunately lost for good", says communications manager Pål Rune Eklo in Gjensidige.
Sweden has also seen an increase in thefts of GPS equipment. And as in other countries, the police are often struggling.
Police suspect that it is often Eastern European criminals who are behind the thefts. When previously stolen GPS systems have been switched on again, the signals has appeared inside Eastern Europe, Russia or elsewhere in the former Soviet Union.
"Unfortunately, in these cases our options are limited," says Sønke Iwersen, deputy police inspector at UKA West at the Syd- og Sønderjyllands Police, to Landbrugsavisen.
The police therefore urge the farmers to increase their focus on securing the valuable equipment. One option is to secure the GPS equipment with GPS trackers.
With GPS trackers, it is possible to recover the equipment before and after it reaches other countries.
"In dialogue with Syd- og Sønderjyllands Police and the industry association Danske Maskinstationer og Entreprenører, we have developed a special GPS product that makes it possible to track and recover the equipment both before and after it crosses the border," says Sune Andersen from GSGroup's Recovery service. The tracking device is also suitable for a lot of other types of objects.
"GSGroup has a strong network of local, professional search teams throughout Europe that work closely with the individual countries' police units, and therefore increases our opportunities for recovery - in fact so good that our recovery percentage is over 90% ," says Sune Andersen