Crime Trend: Farmers & Their Trucks Targeted By Thieves - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Crime Trend: Farmers & Their Trucks Targeted By Thieves

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NBC Right Now is tracking a recent crime trend. Farmers are reporting stolen equipment, but it is not just small tools…they are taking entire trucks. NBC Right Now is tracking a recent crime trend. Farmers are reporting stolen equipment, but it is not just small tools…they are taking entire trucks.

KENNEWICK, WA - NBC Right Now is tracking a recent crime trend. Farmers are reporting stolen equipment, but it is not just small tools - they are taking entire trucks.

We are finding that these thieves are not scared of causing damage or getting noticed when they drive off farms on big rigs. The farmers say they are easy targets. No one notices a truck being stolen when your closest neighbor is acres and acres away.

When we asked Kennewick farmer Dan Edwards how he felt after learning his truck had been stolen he said, he could not properly express those feelings on camera during our interview. It made him mad to say the least

The framed deed the family has proudly displayed in their living room is evidence they have lived and worked on farms in Benton County for over a century. Back in the day the area was so remote that theft was not even a concept. Now, it is a major problem for them and their neighbors.

"It's been mostly like metal theft, scrap metal. People have been getting bits of their farm equipment stolen," explained Edwards. He and his cousins all learned how to drive in the family's ‘61 GMC pickup. In the 80's they repurposed it with welding tools costing tens of thousands of dollars. Last week it was gone.

"It's a combination of sentimental and just absolute regret that somebody comes and takes something of yours."

Sheriff Deputies working on the case say as soon as it is reported they use a network of other farmers and scrap yard owners across the entire Pacific Northwest to find the trucks.

"They don't care about state lines, they don't care about county lines; if they're a thief they're going to steal from wherever the can," said Deputy Scott Belcher of the Benton County Sheriff's Office.

The thieves could be miles from the region by now. Edwards says directly to the thief, just bring that truck back.

"Just accidentally leave it in a field somewhere and make an anonymous call and it'll go away. That'd be the ideal situation," said Edwards. The Edwards are offering up a $1,000 reward to get their truck back.

The Sheriff Deputies told me today, the next big crime trend that could be hitting farms is fuel thefts. Last year there were reports of diesel being siphoned from trucks. They think that is something we will see a lot of on farms as we head into spring.

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