- Russian troops stole nearly $5 million worth of farm equipment from a John Deere dealership in Melitopol.
- The stolen equipment was located by remote GPS and locked, preventing it from being used.
- “When the invaders drove the stolen harvesters to Chechnya, they realized that they could not even turn them on,” a source told CNN.
Russian troops occupying the Ukrainian city of Melitopol stole nearly $5 million of farm vehicles from a John Deere dealership and shipped some of them more than 700 miles to Chechnya, CNN reported, only to find they had been rendered useless by a remote-locking system that prevented the thieves from turning the equipment on.
Two compound harvesters, valued at $300,000 each, as well as 27 other tractors, seeders, and additional pieces of equipment were stolen from the dealership. But the remote access technology of the equipment, which allows for GPS tracking and some of the vehicles to be remotely operated, prevented them from being used.
“When the invaders drove the stolen harvesters to Chechnya, they realized that they could not even turn them on, because the harvesters were locked remotely,” a source familiar with the incident told CNN.
While the equipment could still be scrapped and sold for parts by Russian troops, the source said it is currently lying idle on a farm near Grozny.
Melitopol – a city in the country’s southeast – has been under Russian occupation since early March. Other recent reports from the area have said invading troops looted a museum of gold artifacts and stole hundreds of thousands of tons of grain from the region.