Mississippi's cracking down on agricultural thefts - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippi's cracking down on agricultural thefts

There's an "under the radar" problem that's plaguing farmers around the state. Farms are often in spots where there aren't a lot of eyes on the equipment when it's not working hours and that makes theft investigations trickier. Source: WLBT There's an "under the radar" problem that's plaguing farmers around the state. Farms are often in spots where there aren't a lot of eyes on the equipment when it's not working hours and that makes theft investigations trickier. Source: WLBT
There's an "under the radar" problem that's plaguing farmers around the state. Farms are often in spots where there aren't a lot of eyes on the equipment when it's not working hours and that makes theft investigations trickier. Source: WLBT There's an "under the radar" problem that's plaguing farmers around the state. Farms are often in spots where there aren't a lot of eyes on the equipment when it's not working hours and that makes theft investigations trickier. Source: WLBT
There's an "under the radar" problem that's plaguing farmers around the state. Farms are often in spots where there aren't a lot of eyes on the equipment when it's not working hours and that makes theft investigations trickier. Source: WLBT There's an "under the radar" problem that's plaguing farmers around the state. Farms are often in spots where there aren't a lot of eyes on the equipment when it's not working hours and that makes theft investigations trickier. Source: WLBT
What you may not realize is that there's a bureau devoted to investigating agricultural crimes involving equipment, cattle or timber thefts. Source: WLBT What you may not realize is that there's a bureau devoted to investigating agricultural crimes involving equipment, cattle or timber thefts. Source: WLBT
What you may not realize is that there's a bureau devoted to investigating agricultural crimes involving equipment, cattle or timber thefts. Source: WLBT What you may not realize is that there's a bureau devoted to investigating agricultural crimes involving equipment, cattle or timber thefts. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

There's an "under the radar" problem that's plaguing farmers around the state. Farms are often in spots where there aren't a lot of eyes on the equipment when it's not working hours and that makes theft investigations trickier.

Brenda Langham's family farms in Smith County, but she makes this admission.

"It's not like it used to be," said Langham. "We try to watch out, but sometimes there's people that come through that, you know, they're just up to no good."

Thieves have targeted a nearby farm, but she's never been the victim. Still, her son has installed cameras and takes extra steps to secure their tractors and other equipment.

"If just one of them got stolen it would put us in a bind, not only financially but as far as getting our crops in the field, getting them plowed, getting them to market," she said.

What you may not realize is that there's a bureau devoted to investigating agricultural crimes involving equipment, cattle or timber thefts.

"Most of us grew up around or on small farms and there's enough risks without theft to be concerned," said Mississippi Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Andy Gipson. "And you add some thief into the situation and we're just not going to tolerate it."

Dean Barnard is the new chief of the Agricultural and Livestock Theft Bureau. He brings his 30 plus years of law enforcement experience to the table. For stolen livestock, they refer to a brand book.

"Brands are so important," said Barnard. "If you look at a brand on a livestock, that's just like a serial number on a vehicle to us. That gives us tracking."

But most recently, they assisted in a tractor theft operation that was busted in north Mississippi. It spanned five states and included at least half a million dollars worth of equipment. They were using 18-wheelers to transport the stolen equipment.

"There's not a smart thief," added Barnard. "I've never seen a perfect crime. They always make mistakes and we're going to be there to catch them when they make those mistakes."

For Langham, she's glad there's a division devoted to tracking down those thieves.

Barnard suggests that people take pictures of equipment and serial numbers and make notes. He says that will help in the event that you become a victim of agricultural theft.

Copyright 2018 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly