Farmers Hit Hard by Theft

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(Modesto, CA)
Monday, April 18, 2005

The Agriculture Crime Technology Information and Operations Network, or ACTION, which monitors incidents in the valley, calculates farm-related crime totaled just over ten and a half million dollars in 2004. That's one-and-a-half million more than in 2003.
A good portion of the increase is due to the theft of expensive diesel fuel. Bill Yoshimoto, the Director of ACTION, says some thieves are brazen.  

"Bigger farm operations will have the big tank trailers. They'll come hook those up and drive those right off."  

Common implements, like tools, compressors and pumps account for many of the incidents of theft. Elisa Noble of the California Farm Bureau says there's a ready market for stolen items.  
"Tools and equipment that are used in the day-to-day farming practices have value and can be re-sold as used equipment."

Experts say despite beefed-up patrols, and high tech surveillance, catching thieves in the vast rural stretches of the region is difficult.