Christmas farm theft on the rise

Kate MatthewsCountryman
The West logo

Cranbrook police are urging farmers to be on the lookout after a spate of thefts including some of sheep and CB radios.

Sergeant Damien Smith said seven separate stealing offences had been reported from farming properties in Frankland River, Cranbrook, Tambellup and Tenterden.

In October, a wool press was reported stolen from Frankland River, followed by a report of 40 sheep and a wool bale from Cranbrook.

In November, shearing tools were stolen from a farm on the Cranbrook/Tambellup boundary and 170 sheep were reported missing from a Frankland River farm.

This month, CB radios were stolen from a header parked in a paddock and 165 sheep were stolen from a Tenterden farm.

Sgt Smith said the thieves were opportunistic, targeting leased properties or where no-one was living.

“I encourage everyone to take more notice of leased or isolated farms and report any suspicious behaviour, ” he said.

The recent reports follow a spike in sheep theft earlier in the year when more than 5500 sheep valued at more than $500,000 were reported stolen from the Great Southern.

In May, police confiscated 775 sheep, thought to be stolen, from three Great Southern farms. The sheep were returned later.

Narrogin detective Peter McGee said non-compliance with the Livestock Movement Act was a big issue for the industry and because it was based on mob-based movement, it was hard to track individual sheep.

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