With reports of hay and other ag property theft on the rise in recent weeks, the Glenn County, CA, sheriff’s department is encouraging farmers to protect their property.

In a press release issued last week, officials said they had received numerous reports of thieves taking hay, diesel fuel, processed walnuts and equipment during June. In the largest of five hay-theft incidents, in which 100 alfalfa bales were taken, the value was estimated at $1,000. According to a local television news report broadcast later in the week, the sheriff’s department had made an arrest and some stolen property was recovered and returned to the owner.

“It is understood that ranch and orchard operations are sometimes conducted during both day and nighttime hours and, at times, it may be difficult to discern what is a legitimate versus an illegitimate activity,” the sheriff’s department stated in the press release.

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“However, law enforcement responding to what is believed to be suspicious activity, such as a strange vehicle in the area, individuals loading hay at odd hours and without the aid of lighting if at night, the towing of tanks/equipment without proper vehicle lighting at night, all of which may be indicators of a crime in progress, will aid in the suppression of criminal activity and the apprehension of those perpetrating these types of crimes.”

The release encouraged anyone spotting suspicious activity in hayfields or elsewhere on farms and ranches to contact the sheriff’s department.

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