Ag Crime Prevention
Unfortunately, we continue to see that criminal elements will target local farms they see as ripe for theft. On the plus side, there have been a number of arrests and jail sentences handed down to individuals convicted of agricultural theft. Through cooperative efforts with the County Sheriff, local police, and the District Attorney, in addition to preventative measures taken by farmers to protect themselves, ag crime can be dealt a blow.
Here's what you can do to prevent ag crime and what to do if you become a victim or a witness to ag crime:
- Document your property inventory, including a complete physical description of the equipment, commodity or livestock and any model/serial/identification numbers or tags, and keep this document current. If you are a victim of ag crime, providing law enforcement with a list of stolen items quickly can increase the chances of recovering the items.
- Always be on the alert to suspicious activity near farm areas. Slow-moving, unfamiliar or abandoned vehicles, especially at dawn or dusk, would be suspect. Watch for unknown individuals, unusual/suspicious noises, signs of human activity such as rock piles, water bottles, clothing draped over fences or brush, or unfamiliar boxes, bags or containers hidden around your property.
- Immediately write down every detail surrounding a suspicious activity, especially descriptions of people and vehicles.
- Talk to your neighbors when you have been victimized or notice suspicious activity. The more eyes on the lookout, the better.
- Call 9-1-1 to report a theft in progress. Never attempt to halt a crime in progress without the assistance of law enforcement officers. Be ready to provide the critical details: What, who, when, where, as well as the direction of flight.
- Report all crimes and thefts. Any suspicious activity or an ag crime that has already occurred should be reported to your local law enforcement non-emergency number. Ag crimes often occur in patterns and your report of a crime could lead to solving other cases. While reporting a crime doesn't guarantee the criminal will be caught, not reporting guarantees they won't.
For more information on preventing ag crime, contact the County Sheriff's Ag Crime Specialist Jackie Cruz at