FARMS in Kings Langley, Nash Mills and Abbots Langley have been targeted by thieves who have helped themselves to equipment including horse trailers and small plant machinery.
Police officers believe that offenders are driving on to farmland in a 4x4 vehicle and cutting their way through fences to reach farm equipment, often striking during daylight hours.
Other valuable items that have been stolen include flat bed trailers and ride-on lawn mowers.
Farmer Charlie Wray owns Wayside Farm in Kings Langley.
He said: “Fortunately we haven’t had any issues in a while, but we’ve had stuff stolen before and in this recession people will buy anything, including stolen goods, if the price is right.
“With the recession there seems to be more and more of it, thieves are so brazen about it these days, although there are also other problems to be seen as an urban fringe farm.
“Up to a few years ago farmers didn’t see as much of this sort of thing, but now we end up having to put chains and padlocks on internal gates.
“We liaise closely with the police, though, and our community officers are very much on the ball with these issues.”
Police are advising farmers and others living in rural areas to be aware and report anything suspicous.
A spokesman said: “Please make sure all trailers are secured correctly – for example, with a wheel clamp – and that if they are stored in barns or outbuildings that these outbuildings are also locked and secured.
“These offences are being committed during the day time so please report any suspicious activity to the police on the 101 non-emergency number or thefts in progress on the 999 emergency number.”