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Produce And Cattle Become Theft Targets

Produce And Cattle Become Theft Targets
Keep an eye 'peeled' for livestock rustlers and 'food-nappers' this year.

It had to happen. Rising food prices bring out the worst in desperate people, and draw attention of well-organized criminals. And it's happening across the country, according to reports gleaned from a web news search.

Cattle rustling never died in the West. With cows worth $1,000 a head or more, the crime is alive and well and on the rise in many states.

In just the last month, Texas teens were caught trying to sell cattle at an auction. In Illinois, police nabbed another group of teenaged rustlers. In Virginia, 16 cattle disappeared from a stockyard. A Kentucky cow-calf herd came up short 20 head last week.

Fresh market produce also targets

BEST DEFENSE IS PREVENTIVE: By the time law enforcement officials arrive, the "goods" and the thieves may have already disappeared.

Also within the last month, bogus trucking companies picked up loads of Florida tomatoes, cucumbers and frozen meat from shippers. Value of the haul was about $300,000, according to the New York Times.

With food prices going nowhere but up, even growers need to be aware of rising theft risks. Boosting security measures may be warranted. Consider measures such as these:

  • Motion-detector outdoor lighting for farm markets.
  • Security cameras at most likely points of entry.
  • Bringing livestock in from pastures at night.
  • Night-time motion-detector alarms for night-time use at gates
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