£400 bill after field break-in

Trailer wheel theft near Ottery

Trailer wheel theft near Ottery - Credit: Archant

A horse owner has spoken of her disgust at thieves who broke into her secure field and stole trailer wheels, leaving her with a £400 bill.

Ottery resident Sarah Waller, 46, is warning others to be on their guard after the incident at the Alfington Road site on Tuesday night, which she fears is just one in a spate of thefts.

Sarah thinks the thieves, who had to climb over a barbed wire fence to enter the field, knew what they were doing and she is now worried they will return to the plot where her horse is kept.

The full extent of the damage is unknown, but Sarah estimates replacement wheels will cost her at least £400.

“Interestingly, quite a few people have said it happened to them,” she said.

“The trailer was in a locked field and the gate is still locked, so they must have climbed over the barbed wire fence. They obviously came prepared.

“I spoke to the police first thing this morning [Wednesday], but because of all the rain, any finger prints would have washed away, so I don’t think there’s a lot they can do.

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“I think the thieves know exactly what they are doing, so I just want to warn as many people as I can.

“They must have had a van parked near the field.

“They used my wheelbarrow to transport the wheels across the field.

“My biggest concern is if they come back.”

Sarah suspects the thieves had been to the field prior to the break-in to inspect the area.

Although her horse was unhurt, the incident has made her worry for his welfare.

She added that in her eight years of renting the field, nothing like this has happened before.

Police said they have received a report of the incident and urged anyone who has any information, or has seen someone acting suspiciously, to get in touch.

PC Simon Blyth, of Ottery’s neighbourhood policing team, advised people to secure their property as far they possible can - but conceded that if someone is determined to break in, they will.

“It’s really just a case of keeping an eye out and marking any equipment you have got,” he said.

“We do have a security kit that you can give out to people.

“This is free of charge and will engrave details on equipment, parts and machinery so that if it is recovered, it can be returned.

“If we know where it came from, we can at least take it back.

“It also proves it has been stolen in the first place.”

Anyone with information can call 101 and ask for the Ottery neighbourhood team.