Stolen property from farms and ranches is on the upswing and several states have programs in place to help track thieves down and recover stolen property.
Cattle thefts, from Springfield, Missouri to Kansas City, have been on the rise and they are starting to bleed over on the Kansas side, according to Johnson County, Kansas Detective Brett Wilson.
To combat regional thefts, Wilson has established T.R.A.C.E. – Theft Reports of Agricultural and Construction Equipment – that he calls an “online neighborhood watch program, “And what we do is we send out email anytime there’s a theft from the farm or a construction site. It could be cattle, it could be equipment, it could be copper, anything like that. We send it back out in email form to people on our email list so they can be aware of what’s being stolen in their community.”
The more eyes and ears, Wilson tells Brownfield Ag News, the better, “We’re trying to educate the people of what’s been stolen and maybe they’ll see stuff at a consignment sale or they’ll see it on Craig’s list when they’re looking for their own equipment and they’ll help a victim get their farm equipment back.”
We asked Wilson what their recovery rate is on stolen cattle and equipment. His answer, “What I like to say is if everything in this farm show today was stolen we’d get about 8% back.” Brownfield Ag News spoke with Detective Wilson at the Western Missouri Farm Show in Kansas City.
TRACE has 900 members in 102 Missouri and Kansas Counties and Wilson is working to grow those numbers.