FARMERS have been assured police will continue to get tough on rural crime after a successful operation led to jail sentences being handed to thieves who stole tractors worth £500,000.
The thieves, all from Yorkshire, targeted farms across the county. In our area, they stole one tractor from Swinhope and another from North Owersby.
They planned to illegally export the stolen tractors to Iraq but were caught in a special police operation called ‘Goldflake’.
Kirk Frost, 28, of Dunscroft, Doncaster, and his cousin John Frost, 35, from Hull, were each jailed for four years at Lincoln Crown Court.
Family friend Johnathan Isle, 27, from Thorne, who played a lesser role in the conspiracy, was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment.
Kirk Frost’s father Terence Frost, 53, described as one of the “bosses of the operation”, was jailed for six years last month alongside fellow ringleader Asso Jabar, 31, who was sentenced to five and a half years in prison.
The thefts took place during the summer of 2010 – altogether 12 tractors and one JCB were stolen.
DCI David Wood, who headed the police operation, said: “Over the last two years, a team of dedicated officers has pieced together the mechanics of this organised crime enterprise and painstakingly gathered enough evidence to convict these criminals.
“I hope this result demonstrates to all the farmers in the county who suffered as a result of these crimes that Lincolnshire Police is dedicated to tackling rural crime and will continue to do so.
“This conviction sends out a clear message to organised crime groups travelling to Lincolnshire to commit offences. We will arrest you an put you before the courts.”