THE chairman of Evesham United Football Club says the club could have been hit financially if a tracker device had not been installed to help recover stolen tractors.

Two John Deere tractors, worth £15,000, were stolen in separate incidents from Evesham Football Club's ground, in Cheltenham Road - the latest incident being just a month ago.

Both tractors are fitted with a Tracker unit, which can be activated to help locate stolen vehicles anywhere, even when they are hidden in a garage or shipping container.

The transmitter is hidden on the vehicle and with no aerial, the thief is unaware it is there.

In the first incident Jim Cockerton, the club's chairman, discovered that one of the club’s tractors - used to help in the management of the grounds - was missing.

After alerting the police officers were able to follow the signal and locate the tractor, following it to an abandoned traveller campside on the outskirts of Tilesford where the tractor was recovered.

In the second incident in September, just a few months after the first, the stolen tractor was tracked and recovered in Evesham within 13 hours of the theft.

Before this year's incidents, one of the tractors was stolen a few years ago and also recovered using the technology.

Mr Cockerton said: “The fact that we had a device fitted made all the difference to its successful recovery, as it played a key role in helping police locate both of our tractors within hours of them being stolen.

"Had it not been for the Tracker, we would have had to claim on Evesham FC’s insurance - which would have inevitably resulted in a rise in next year’s premium.

"We would have also needed to pay for the hire of a temporary replacements, creating further financial strain on the club.

"Thankfully, we’ve avoided all these added costs as well as considerable inconvenience.

"It’s a great result."

Adrian Davenport, police liaison manager for Tracker, added: “Tractor and plant theft is a huge problem, with high demand in Africa, India and Saudi Arabia making them a hot target for criminals.

“Fortunately, in the instance of Evesham FC, Tracker helped police recover these tractors."