Police are urging owners of ground-mount solar installations in Lincolnshire to be vigilant after a spate of recent solar panel thefts continued last week.
The Lincolnshire area has been hit by a number of thefts since the turn of the year, with what appears to be a highly organised team of criminals targeting remote ground-mount solar installations in the early hours.
The first two occurred over one weekend in March, when 66 panels were stolen from a farm in White Cross, Sutton St James, followed by 58 panels being taken from an installation in Brant Broughton.
This was followed in June when 198 panels were stolen from a farmer’s installation in South Kyme. Then last week the criminals struck again, this time stealing 223 panels from a 147kW solar farm in Helpringham, Sleaford. The latest incident takes the number of panels stolen since March to 545, with an estimated value in excess of £60,000.
Original planning documents from the farm most recently targeted show the panels to have been Hanwha QPRO G.3 panels, and Lincolnshire Police are urging local residents to be wary of door-to-door sellers in the area.
Speaking to Solar Power Portal, a Lincolnshire Police spokeswoman said the two most recent incidents involved targeting properties overnight and urged owners to take “all possible precautions”.
“Keep gates securely locked to limit vehicular access to fields, check your sites regularly and consider other options such as security lighting and CCTV. Also, ensure that your panels are insured.
“Police are investigating both incidents and would like to hear from anyone who may have any information in relation to either incident, or anyone who may have been offered the panels for sale.
“Anyone with any information is asked to contact Lincolnshire Police on 101 quoting either incident number above, or alternatively contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111,” the spokeswoman added.