Thieves strike Iowa hog, grain farms in separate incidents

11-27-2012 in Hogs

By: Bethany Pint, Iowa Farm Bureau

Reprinted with permission of the Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman

The Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) is re­­minding livestock and grain farmers to keep a watchful eye on their operations after recent instances of theft on two separate Iowa farms.

Thieves took 415 pigs from the Dekker family farm near Sheldon on Nov. 11. The theft occurred overnight and the thieves, who haven’t been caught, used a semi to load 220 feeder pigs and 195 market weight hogs. The family’s hog barn is located one-quarter of a mile from the family’s house.

Brian Waddingham, CSIF executive director, said the coalition encourages farmers to lock all doors and buildings on the farm. Varying the chore routine, especially if the animals are located on a separate site from the farm, can help deter theft, he said. A surveillance or alarm system can also help catch criminals in the act and keep animals safe. Keeping adequate records of pigs per pen would help pork producers notice if even 20 pigs were missing, Waddingham said.

The Dekker family is planning on installing an alarm system, according to KMEG-TV.

The Iowa County Sheriff’s Office and the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office arrested Christopher Brennan of Montezuma and his father, Ricky Brennan, of Deep River for stealing more than $10,000 worth of soybeans recently.

Authorities said the men entered a crib on an Iowa County farm on five separate occasions to steal the soybeans.

The two are charged with five counts of third-degree burglary and one count of second-degree theft.

The men were arrested and charged Nov. 19. They posted bail and were released from jail.

Both grain and livestock farmers can benefit from good neighbor relations, Waddingham said.

“Keep your neighbors in mind; they can be an extra set of eyes for your farm.”

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