Tyre vandals strike again
Hororata farmer Dougal King is left asking why, after vandals drilled holes in the tyres of his irrigator last week, the second time within a year.
‘‘We’ve had the exact same pivot done. They did 30 tyres last [October] and they did 24 [on Monday, March 5].’’
King said he believed the vandals could have been antiirrigation activists, as he drew his irrigation water supply for the Central Plains Water Scheme and his farm was biscected by the scheme’s canal.
‘‘They possibly see our farm as a bit of a target. It’s the first farm you would see from the main road by the canal,’’ King said.
A police spokesperson said enquires were ongoing for both October’s and last week’s incidents, and wanted to hear from anyone with information helpful to the investigation
‘‘Police take rural crime seriously and would encourage anyone who is the victim of a crime to report it. We would also encourage people to report suspicious activity in their local community,’’ the spokesperson said.
‘‘If you notice an unfamiliar vehicle in your area, record the details, including registration numbers.’’
The holes in the tyres were large, King said, ‘‘at least 15ml’’. He estimated the cost of repair would be around $12,000, with some of the cost covered by his insurance.
Last time the vandals struck it cost King $15,000 and two days repair time. He said he needed the pivot up and running within a week to protect it from wind and allow him to irrigate if necessary.
Unlike last time, the pivot had been running on Monday night. By the time King and his contractors discovered the damage the pivot had run all night on its rims and had damaged a couple of fences.
‘‘Running on rims like that, it could damage something else. I think gearbox costs are in the thousands.
‘‘The fences, that’s a cost, that’s annoying. But it’s no biggie really,’’ he said.
King said he received no warning before the vandalism and had walked the length of the pivot searching for clues, but had found nothing.
Although he did not believe it would be the last time, King said he wanted to know why his pivot had been targeted.
‘‘Why? Why are they targeting me?’’
Dougal King had 24 tyres of his irrigation pivot vandalised, potentially costing $12,000 to repair.