Police warn farmers about targeted thefts

Police warn farmers about targeted thefts
Feb 16, 2024

Thieves have stolen equipment and other items from farms

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Police are warning producers that thieves are targeting farms for their next scores.

“Farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses are being hit with thefts of heavy equipment, aluminum pipe, commodities, cattle and expensive farm chemicals,” the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office says on its website.

This warning came after authorities alerted the public about its ongoing search for 96 beehives taken from a field near Interstate 5 and W. Panoche Road.

The hives went missing between Jan. 28 and 29 and are valued around $34,000.

“These particular hive(s) are multi-colored and are all branded with the letters ‘MEB,’ so they should be easy to recognize,” the sheriff’s office said.

The bees came from Andy Strehlow, a beekeeper from South Dakota.

He’s offering a $100,000 reward for the return of the stolen hives, Fox 26 reported.

In South Carolina, farmers in two counties are out thousands of dollars because of criminal activity.

Thieves have been stealing copper wire from pivot pumps, police in Sumter and Clarendon counties say.

The thefts caused between $5,000 and $10,000 to each pivot, police say.

“Dishonest people are always looking for a way to steal from good, hard-working people. Farmers are part of the fabric of our culture and some of the hardest working people in America. When a neighbor suffers, we all suffer, so I hope people will step-up and report these thieves,” said Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis, Fox 57 reported.

Farmers can take multiple steps to protect their properties from theft.

These include branding livestock, putting an Owner Applied Number and Operation I.D. on heavy equipment, and marking the insides of chemical containers.

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