Thieves appear to be targeting farm buildings across the country for high-value shotguns, according to police.

“The numbers of shotguns stolen from rural, isolated farms have seen a marked increase,” West Sussex police’s detective constable Christopher Howbery-Gale told ST. He added: “I appreciate security can be hard on farms, but I urge shooters to make sure that cabinet keys are not left in an obvious place.”

This call for vigilance comes as several shotguns were stolen during a burglary in the Steyning area of Sussex on 4 February. Two Lancaster shotguns worth £7,000 each were stolen, as well as a Radcliffe shotgun worth £1,500 and an AYA shotgun worth £500.

Other police forces have also experienced an increase of firearm thefts from farms. A spokesman for Lincolnshire police said that shotgun theft is an on-going problem in the county: “In fact, we are investigating the theft of two £5,000 shotguns which were stolen from a farm on 11 February. Thieves broke in through a window and removed a shotgun cabinet from a wall and forced it open. Farms tend to be an obvious target as there is a high chance the occupants will be certificate holders.”

The rest of this article appears in 26 February issue of Shooting Times.

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