OPP warn farmers to be vigilant and take extra steps to protect their property
by Paula Schuck
Norfolk County OPP is warning farmers to take precautions to avoid theft by removing keys from farm equipment, calling police when they spy anyone suspicious on a neighbour’s property and locking fuel tanks.
OPP shared this safety advice after a recent theft of $10,000 worth of fuel from a Windham Road 9 property in Norfolk County.
“To all of our farming community, all of our farmers that are out there working hard putting food on the table for everyone across the province … please do yourself a favour and be sure to secure all the fuel on your property,” Const. Ed Sanchuk said to Farms.com.
Someone stole 5,000 litres of fuel sometime between 2:30 and 5:30 a.m. on Aug. 6, he said.
“That’s one of the largest fuel thefts I have ever seen. They basically emptied the tanks,” he added.
The "good news," he said, is a security camera is located just above the tanks. Police are hoping it captured footage of the theft.
The thieves likely needed to use a large truck or multiple containers to carry away that much fuel, so OPP are asking that anyone who may have seen suspicious activity during those early morning hours to call police.
"I wanted to put a message out to all of our farming community, or anybody that has storage tanks on his or her property that contains large amounts of fuel," added said. “Lock it down and make sure you have a camera system in place.
“Just wanted to also send a reminder to community partners to look out for each other. If something seems suspicious, it probably is. If you see something suspicious, call the police. If you suspect there is a crime in progress, call 911.”
Sanchuk also advised farmers to:
- Take the keys out of your vehicles at night.
- Lock your doors.
- Install a camera system on the property.
- Look out for your neighbours and report suspicious activity to police immediately.
Anyone with information is asked to call Norfolk County OPP at 1-888-310-1122.
To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or helpsolvecrime.com.