Theft of farm machinery and equipment

How to secure your farm machinery and equipment to prevent theft.

Keeping watch over acres of farm property, livestock, machinery and equipment can be challenging. This can make farms attractive targets for thieves. 

Explore crime prevention tips to deter trespassers, and secure your property, tools and machinery against theft.

Key crime prevention tips

  • Secure your property. 
  • Secure your tools and machinery. 
  • Keep records. 

Theft prevention checklist

Secure your property

  • Install trespass warning signs on all entry points to the property. 
  • Lock all buildings, sheds and gates with good quality locks.
  • Install the latest security technology.
  • Install sensor lights around all buildings.
  • Install CCTV cameras throughout the property and around the perimeter. 
    • Ensure cameras cover all buildings and sheds, and entry and exit points. 
    • Consider solar powered cameras where wired cameras cannot be used.
  • Store important items in the main house.
  • Tell your neighbours if you plan on being away for an extended period.
    • Consider asking family or friends stay at the house when you are away.

Secure your tools and machinery

  • Never leave keys in the ignition, the vehicle, or close by. 
  • Install tracking devices on machinery and equipment. 
  • Make sure your tools and equipment are secured. Chain or secure tools and equipment to a fixed object, if possible.
  • Install a locking mechanism on trailers.
  • When not using equipment, disable the vehicle. Options include removing the battery, spark plugs or distributor cap.
  • Mark or engrave items with a unique number, code, symbol or similar that is known only by you.

Keep records

  • Record serial and model numbers, and photograph tools.
  • Keep invoices and receipts so you can prove machinery belongs to you. 

Other things you can do

What to do if your farm equipment has been stolen

  • If you see the thief, do not confront them. Your safety is more important than your possessions. 
  • Do not touch anything. 
  • In the case of bad weather, cover any evidence.
  • Call your insurance company. 
  • Upload stolen property information to Property Vault.

Report it

No issue is too small to report. If you see something suspicious, report it to police.

For emergencies, to report a crime in progress, or for immediate police attendance, call Triple Zero (000).

For non-emergencies, call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 or report online at Police Assistance Line and Online Reporting.

Report anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Attend your local police station to speak to an officer in person.

Additional resources

Agriculture Victoria provides information on a range of farming issues.