Thefts in agriculture: embedded technology popular with criminals – Bretagne



This happened on the night of September 4 to 5, 2022 in the Jan company, in Pluneret (56). Seven on-board computers and three GPS antennas from five tractors, a forage harvester and a harvester were stolen without arousing the slightest suspicion in this hamlet of a few houses which ended in a dead end. The automatic lights were necessarily activated, the thieves were necessarily motorized, and yet it was not until the early morning that the theft was discovered. “Around 6 a.m., one of my employees realized that the forage harvester’s on-board computer had disappeared,” says Frédéric Jan. This electronic equipment is high precision. It calculates both the oil pressure needed in a trailer, as it allows you to sow a seed to the nearest millimetre. Its cost is commensurate. The contractor estimates his damage at €40,000. In the same night, two other agricultural work companies were affected, in Plumergat (56) and Guer (56). Then a fourth, on the night of September 7 to 8 in Nivillac (56).

Two thefts, €300,000 damage

It is not just this type of company, which rents out their very expensive equipment to farmers, who are affected. Dealerships too. Bertrand Grevese, who manages four sites of the Bernard group, under the Espace agri brand, can testify to this: “We were victims of two thefts in 2021 for a loss of €300,000. The first time, in June, we were robbed of the guidance systems, the electronic boxes, the engine boxes of 18 tractors. The thieves cut the fence on the side facing the dual carriageway. The gendarmes told us that it was to be able to leave more quickly”. As a result, the group has secured its most sensitive sites. “In Moréac, we have equipped ourselves with eight cameras to cover the entire yard. It cost us €30,000. Collateral effect of these claims, the insurance refused to renew the contract. “And no other would have agreed to cover us if we didn’t equip ourselves. Our premium has doubled,” says Bertrand Grevese.

. (Photo The Telegram)

International networks

On the side of the gendarmerie, we distinguish the “local” delinquency which works rather in the thefts of small materials and especially of diesel. These targeted operations of thefts of electronic guidance systems are often the work of teams which carry out raids across the territory “It is the work of international networks which come from Eastern countries. The last two who were dismantled were made up of Romanians on the one hand and Lithuanians on the other, ”underlines Thomas Annic, security referent at the Morbihan gendarmerie group.

The investigations mobilize soldiers in the departments where the abuses are committed up to the Central Office for the Fight against Itinerant Delinquency. “The whole chain is concerned”, summarizes Captain Voisin, head of the judicial police of the gendarmes of Morbihan. As for petty thefts of fuel or small tools, they are more the result of local delinquency. But rarely give rise to complaints: “For two reasons, says Commander Pecceu, of the Vannes company. Because they don’t take the time because of their workload. Then because they are not necessarily well insured for these thefts and do not see the need to refer to the police if there is no compensation at the end.

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