Sheriff offers tips to protect against theft on farms

TIPS FOR PROTECTING PROPERTY

Allen offered the following tips to help protect a farm or rural home from theft.

— Photographing or recording valuables. The documented serial number is essential. Make sure there is a picture of these numbers. In Missouri, and probably other states as well, sheriff’s departments require a serial number to enter a stolen item into their system.

“It’s the easiest way to do it. Just use your cell phone, take pictures, take pictures of the serial number and put them in a folder somewhere or on your phone so that if something happens , you can make it appear,” Allen mentioned.

He added: “A serial number helps if we find it in a pawn shop. You can positively identify something because there’s red paint where you sprayed it. That doesn’t mean anything, though. If you don’t have a serial number, you won’t be able to identify it to me in court.”

— Install cameras. Configure them to provide clear vision, including face capture.

“A lot of farmers use trail cameras because maybe they don’t have power in some of their barns,” Allen said. “So we’re seeing that more and more. Every time we get one of these theft calls, we tell them to set up a camera system. It’s easy. Tell your neighbors to set up put in a camera system. Amazon sells them pretty cheap and they work great.”

— Don’t do yourself justice. Let the professionals take care of it.

“Everyone wants to protect their own gear, their own property. The thing to do is call us. It’s the safest thing to do,” Allen said. “Let us deal with it. That’s what we do. We have the equipment and the knowledge. I don’t want to see anybody doing something that’s going to get them in trouble because they don’t know the law. You can’t shoot someone for stealing your shovel. You might want to, but you can’t. They’re just materialistic objects. Let him take it and take good pictures if you can. Let -We take care of it, that’s my advice.

Reported thefts and other property crimes continue to decline nationwide, according to FBI crime statistics. About 5 million property crimes were reported in 2020, down from 9.1 million in 2010. Preliminary figures released by the FBI in June show property crimes fell 7.9% in 2020, the most steep percentage reduction over the past five years, according to USAfacts.org. Cities with populations under 10,000 saw property crime drop 14% in 2020. The decline in property crime was likely aided by pandemic shutdowns and an increase in the number of people working from home.

“You’re never going to quit everything,” Allen said. “If I want to break into your house, I’m going to break into your house. But I think the key is to be able to catch who did it. Depending on what they take, maybe we can get it back , we may not.”

The Fresno County, California Sheriff’s Office also offers rural crime prevention tips on their website: https://www.fresnosheriff.org/…

Chris Clayton can be reached at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN

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