EXCLUSIVE: Farmer called to �250,000 suspected arson was robbed of �40,000 tractor whilst away from home

A FARMER called in the middle of the night to a �250,000 blaze which destroyed 15,000 baby chicks was robbed of a �40,000 tractor whilst he was away from his main home.

A FARMER called in the middle of the night to a �250,000 blaze which destroyed 15,000 baby chicks was robbed of a �40,000 tractor whilst he was away from his main home.

Jonathan Johns, who runs Goose and Johns Farms Ltd in the Walpole and Marshland area near Wisbech, only discovered the tractor had been stolen when he returned home four hours after the suspected arson attack on his chicks.

Mr Johns said he left home at 2.55am on Tuesday following a call from his security company to warn him the alarm had been raised at his poultry farm.

“I got dressed quickly and went over to the other which is about a mile from my home,” he said. He dialled 999 and waited for fire crews to arrive to tackle the blaze but it was too late to save either the chicks or the barn. Losses are estimated at �250,000.


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“My first reaction was to get the gas turned off at the farm,” said Mr Johns who later returned to his home.

At around 8am as one of his workers – who had been with him at the other farm- went to start drilling only to discover the Massey Ferguson 64 95 was missing.

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“I then had to phone the police to come out to that,” said Mr Johns. A quad bike used on the farm to put slug pellets on the land was also taken.

The tractor was later discovered some two miles away along Bottom End Road, Marshland. Mr Johns believes thieves had planned to leave for it a few days to see if a tracker device was installed and collect it once they thought it was safe to do so.

“The quad bike is still missing,” he said.

Norfolk Police are investigating both the cause of the blaze and the thefts.

Firefighters were called to Bertie’s Barn, in Harp’s Hall Road, Walton Highway, near Wisbech, in the early hours of Tuesday.

Crews from Outwell, Wisbech, West Walton, King’s Lynn, �Sandringham, Terrington and the chemical unit from Sprowston raced to the scene at about 3am.

The water carrier from Fakenham was also sent and firefighters used the aerial ladder platform from King’s Lynn. The fire was put out just before 7am.

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