Two men who conspired to steal agricultural global positioning systems and other technical equipment have been sentenced to a total of of six years and 10 months in jail.
Aidas Cesna, 28, and Gintaras Jankauskas, 30, both admitted conspiring to steal equipment valued at approximately £380,000 from agricultural vehicles at 13 farms and estates across Essex between 28 September and 27 October 2021.
And today, Tuesday 15 November, Jankauskas was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court to three years and 10 months in prison. The court also made a deprivation order for his car and he was ordered to pay a victim surcharge.
Cesna was jailed for three years in July at Chester Crown Court for the same offence. He was also jailed for a further one year and six months for committing a burglary, two thefts and theft from a motor vehicle on farms and estates in Cheshire between 10 and 14 February this year.
Chelmsford Crown Court heard that, through technical analysis, officers were able to place both Cesna and Jankauskas at the scene of 14 thefts of technical equipment from combine harvesters, tractors and sprayers across Essex.
Equipment stolen included GPS equipment, navigation systems and satellite receivers, computer screens and control boxes.
“Theft of GPS equipment hits our farmers hard. “Global positioning systems are a critical part of modern farming and cost thousands of pounds to replace. Then there are the additional costs and time out of operation required to repair the damage caused by thieves. “So, thefts can cause significant harm and disruption to farm businesses, particularly in the autumn, when delays can prove extremely costly for farmers bringing in their harvest.” PC Samantha Smith, of our Rural Engagement Team
“Cesna and Jankauskas carried out a spree of thefts and took more than £350,000 worth of equipment over a few days. “Thefts like these have been terrorising rural communities up and down the country, causing a huge financial loss to hard-working farmers. “Equipment is not straightforward to replace and, often, machines are heavily damaged in the process, leaving farmers without the essential tools they need to do their job. “In the face of the evidence collected by Cheshire Police and Essex Police, they pleaded guilty and have been sentenced.” Ashley Petchey, of the Crown Prosecution Service
Our Rural Engagement Team
Our Rural Engagement Team was set up specifically to engage with our rural communities.
Officers investigate and help to prevent crimes which matter to you, such as theft of agricultural vehicles and technical equipment, hare coursing, fly-tipping and animal cruelty.
And they also liaise with partner agencies to take enforcement action against those who breach legislation and to tackle specific rural issues through proactive operations.