Agricultural crime declining, being proactive still important
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: January 02, 2013
Agricultural crime is declining significantly due in part to more patrols of unincorporated areas by Ventura County Sheriff’s as well as farmers and others doing business in rural areas being more proactive.
And that includes subscribers to the free Farm Watch, a VCSD email newsletter founded by Captain Tim Hagel that is still being prepared monthly by VCSD Det. Ray Dominguez.
In the latest edition of Farm Watch Dominguez wrote that crimes of interest included a copper wire theft from “multiple wind machines at a Somis farm,” that occurred at an unknown time due to the machines being dormant for an extended period of time.
Dominguez noted there were no suspects or evidence located at the crime scene and a check of local scrap metal yards “has been fruitless... “
Dominguez urged all those growers with wind machines to “Please check them regularly and take steps to protect the electrical boxes from attack,” and if you have battery operated equipment not being used regularly, remove the batteries and store them in a secure location until needed.
Another notable theft was of multiple saddles and bridles from a Los Angeles Avenue horse ranch also in the Somis area.
The saddles were taken when the unknown suspects forced open Conex storage containers and horse trailers to steal the tack, which has a high value.
“Please keep your eyes open for any suspicious subjects trying to sell saddles or other tack at a price that’s too good to be true,” said Dominguez.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Det. Arthur at (805) 388-5149.
Dominguez wanted people to remember “The following advice is always wise if you suspect illegal activity on your property... “
If you see or suspect illegal activity call 911 immediately. Never approach or confront those you suspect of committing a property crime.
Be a good witness - note suspect descriptions such as age, height, weight, facial hair, clothing, and shoe type. If a vehicle is involved, obtain a license plate number and note vehicle color, body damage, bumper stickers, camper shell, after market tires and wheels, etc.
Provide the 911 Dispatcher with information about the time and last known direction of travel of the suspect(s).
For more information on reporting or preventing agricultural crime or to find out how to sign up to receive the crime-fighting Farm Watch, contact Dominguez directly at (805) 384-4726 or by email at email@example.com.