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Advisor

'A crime a day'

Just read an article (full story) from Farmers Weekly in the UK, in which a British farmer claims his farm suffers "a crime a day." He complains that rural crime is "grossly understimated"  and that local police are often unresponsive to reports of problems.

 

The Berkshire farmer has begun to take matters into his own hands by installing electronic gates and a CCTV system that allows monitor his operation from anywhere. He's also erected two miles of security fencing around his fields to stop intruders.

 

Do you see increases in crimes on farms? Any preventive measures to recommend?

 

Thanks.

 

John

 

 

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32 Replies
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Honored Advisor

Re: 'A crime a day'

John, I am pretty sure I thwarted an intruder on Mike's place in VA last Tuesday night.  A car rolled up in the adjoining yard at almost ten p.m., apparently not expecting anyone to be home. 

 

When they saw my truck in front of our daughter's house, a mile into the property from the state road, the driver literally threw the car's rear end around in a skidding doughnut, and floored the gas.  It looked like the Dukes of Hazzard foing out, jumping the hilltops.   I am sure they weren't supposed to be there, and didn't want to be identified. 

 

I ahve spent two days of the last ten, meeting with an alarm consultant last week and then the installer yesterday, and still haven't got the system we want in place.  They couldn't get a cellular signal sufficient to send out an alarm, so we had to drop back and punt. 

 

This meant getting the local telephone carrier to connect a landline, and that was a bear, with our credit report frozen, to proect us from identity theft.  Finally got the account authorized last night,k after about an eleven-hour aggravation.  We will be checking the line this weekend, when we go up to do a bit more work, and the installation is due again this coming Tuesday.   

 

Mike wanted the alarms on the house up there, which we are using as a second home, now that our daughter who lived there has passed away.  He was very perturbed that I was there with no protection.  Since 911 is tied to the landline phone system, it is probably good to have a basic phone there anyway. 

 

A contractor who was working here on the farm in NC told him that his nephew had been robbed twice.  The alarms the installed after the first breakin got such a good response, the culprit was caught the second time. 

 

I've done some reading since this semi-scary situation last week.  Apparently, the best defense is a bad dog.  Signs and stickers that indicate a system is in place are also a deterrent, as is good lighting. 

 

We keep everything well lit at night, and have motion-detection lighting in place.  We are discussing an alarm system for the house and office here...but, the dogs have kept the world away so far. 

 

If anyone is interested in alarms, I'd say do in-depth research.  Your telephone company probably pairs with ADT and Vivint to offer good discounted services.  Also, membership in AARP got us 20% off equipment, and a discount on monthly monitoring fees. 

 

You can get alarms and even cameras, and there are lots of options.  I elected a contact alarm for each entrance door, a motion detector in the central room of the house, smoke and temperature alarms, since we will be there sporadically for now.  (This is the house I was asking about winterizing a while back, so I will set a temp parameter for us to know if the pipes are in danger.)  There are other options for video, two-way voice, and automatic buttons for fire, rescue, and police summoning. 

 

It's basically a matter of how much you want to spend.  Once installed, the certificate that says you have the alarms in place can get you a discount on insurance premiums, depending upon your insurer. 

 

Depending upon whether you can get cell signal where you are, with AT&T (or T-mobile for Vivint), you can save that way, by not having to pay for a telephone line.  .For that house,. the phone and monitoring package will cost us almsot $70 per month, before insurance discounting.   Having the phone line does, of course, present the possibility of adding DSL there, should we ever want it.   

 

Crine is most definitely on the increase around is in NC...Securing a large property with long open access potential can be very problematic.  Using fences to narrow the options for getting in and out is a real help. 

 

It is virtually iompossibel to protect against every threat...so, like everything else, you have to decided how much you want to pay to provide, in terms of security.  I have alwasy said that it helps to have a reputation for being a little bit crazy...so, people are scared to fool with you.  Having a pack of crazy-acting dogs adds to that tactic. 

 

Honest people have a hard time thinking like criminals...which is to our disadvantage..... 

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Frequent Contributor

Re: 'A crime a day'

Around here most crime is petty vandalism.  We really don't have much of a problem, despite being close to a good-sized city.  

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Honored Advisor

Re: 'A crime a day'

Here, ATVs are a big theft target.  We don't have any, so maybe that helps us avoid attention.  This kids have a quad, but we use golf carts...not sexy enough, I guess. 

 

It is not unusual for a farmer to have a group of thugs scouting his place, and to be robbed repeatedly here. 

 

Metal scavengers are another scourge.  In the last couple of years, not too many days would go by that you didn't hear of an HVAC unit being gutted at a home under construction, or an empty one.  They will break into empty rentals and steal plumbing pipe, too. 
Laws on having to show a picture ID to sell to a recycler may be starting to help with that, though.   

 

We have hidden the equipment for our SIL's best friend, who had a tree removal service and firewood supply, until he died about four months ago.  The auction is coming up next weekend, so it will be removed to the sale site soon. 

 

The parade of people who went by that boy's house - which was on a stub road with no other reason to ride past it - was disgusting.  I think if our SIL and the boy's stepfather hadn't moved fast, there would have been very little to sell , to help provide for his two young daughters.  Sad. 

 

 

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Senior Contributor

Re: 'A crime a day'

If you have ever watched the TV show "Justified". It's suppose to be set in Kentucky and is very similar to real life in southern Ohio. The writers did their homework for that show
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Veteran Contributor

Re: 'A crime a day'

After a tractor was vandalized and a truck load of steel was stolen I installed a locked gate in the driveway of a bin site.  We seem to have more problems with theft of metal than anything else.  I plan on knocking down a house on a farm and then I'll install a locked gate.  Most businesses within a couple miles now have fences surrounding them.  We live near a town with high unemployment rate.  A tornado came through a couple years ago and it took a couple weeks to repair the transmission lines.  I told the utility that if they left any metal overnight that it would disappear.  They said they would have security to keep an eye on things.  The security didn't last long and the stainless steel connectors vanished.  The situation in Illinois will get worse as prison overcrowding will force the state to cut sentences and release offenders.  The state financial crisis will cause a lot of misery. 

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Honored Advisor

Re: 'A crime a day'

The electrric company here had problems with actually losing lines and transformers off of poles. I have known one guy who works on substations, and he says metal theft is a really big problem for their company, security-wise. 

 

I would say that "Justified" is in our top five favorite TV shows...throw in "Breaking Bad" (schoolteacher turned mega-meth cooker),   "Sons of Anarchy" (Shakespeare on a harley saddle), "True Blood" (every type of supernatural being dropped into a Louisanna bayou, as a metaphor for breaking down the barriers of virtually every social taboo). and "Dexter" (serial killer vigilante').  Of all of them, I like Timothy Olyphant, the cast of characters in Harlan County, and the writers of that storyline the most...the turns of phrase in "Justified" are among the most inventive in entertainment today. 

 

I think you vision of where you live in Ohio is very much like our view of where we live in NC.  Poor fiscal management makes for a lot of serious social problems. 

 

 

 

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Senior Contributor

Re: 'A crime a day'

They say there are three major crime rings in our county. One controlled by a northern big city group, one by local redneck hillbilly group (it is responsible for most of the rural theft) and a local small town "gang". They all center around drugs, mostly meth. Supposedly the patriarch of the hillbilly group gives his people a list of what he needs them to steal every day. Most popular is ATVs and guns. So sad many people have had low value family heirloom type guns stolen. Some have been able to by them back from the pawn shops, some are just gone and never recovered.
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Honored Advisor

Re: 'A crime a day'

When our younger daughter passed away at the end of May, we were very leery of what we put into the paper in her obituary.  No address.  Since she lived on wireless, there was no listing for anyone to access in the phone book. 

 

We immediately removed her jewelry, electronics, guns, and riding mower...and won't put anything of easy fencing value back,  until the alarm system is in place...I've been working on that for over a week now. 

 

Her home was Mike's childhood home, a remote little farmhouse, so we've decided to keep it as a family second home for a getaway.  I had unexpected night visitors while staying up there one night last week, as I mentioned above.  We go there several times a week right now, as we are working on rentals on the same farm, as well as that house. 

 

 I am sure that there are similar rings of criminal types most everywhere now.  I bougth a house lot that adjoins us here in NC, and there was a mobile home on it...young woman who did nothing for a living but have children with no fathers to support them.  The last man who lived with her was on a different 4-wheeler every so often, whcih we felt was evidence of stolen property. 

 

We decided to move her along...so I bought her out pf the land in a partition suit, and offered to give her my half of the trailer...all they had to do was move.  The guy had two nice vehicles, and all these expensive toys, but it took months for them to scrape up the money.  He always had gold chains on when you saw him, too...but she claimed he didn't work and didnt' help her...???

 

It finally got to where i told them to move or the CAT was coming to move it. underground.  Can't get in trouble but so much, when I held the whole title.   They are gone at last, moved in June.  i am glad they aren't sitting right where they can see all of our comings and goings anymore. 

 

The best way to avoid theft is to be unpredictable in your movements.  A regular schedule is a criminal's best ally. 

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Veteran Contributor

Re: 'A crime a day'

Since I'm in  a neighborhood that is flat, black and few trees the biggest deterent according to the local deputy, is a system of lights that go on once a vehicle enters the property.  The lights are seen for miles and the visitor hits the road. 

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