Is theft a real problem if you live offsite?

canuckistani(5b)February 24, 2009

I'm in a suburban area and will be growing vegetables on a site I don't live on. Should I be worried about theft? I know it totally depends upon the area, I don't think my area is particularly crime-ridden, just a typical North American suburb. How common is crop theft really? Any ideas?


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There is always the potential for theft. We've had our share of ours in the past, mostly tool type stuff not veggies.

With the economy going south, I'm thinking there may be more garden raids than normal-parents in particular who can't feed their kids will become desperate for instance.

Perhaps plant an extra row or two for the hungry, and share with your neighbors-in return they'll probably keep an eye out for you.
Good luck,

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 10:19AM
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Several farmers have found partly butchered cattle and sheep in their fields with the hind quarters missing recently.

I have many cameras placed around my farmland to watch the wildlife via Internet, it comes in handy to roust unwanted trespassers-be they hunters or teenage off-roaders.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 11:41AM
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Thanks for the input. Maybe keeping a guard dog on the site is a good idea?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 12:19PM
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Great Pyrs are the best, IMO. They'll guard the livestock, and the garden (secondary benefit) if it's within their territory!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 12:32PM
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We are increasing our garden four fold and three fold the number of meat birds for the reason that Brendasue has stated. In our area there as so many without jobs-good hard working people-we should never allow them to have to resort to stealing for what we should be freely giving quietly and without fanfare.

We live in a Country that is the Greatest the world has ever known-and not because of our wealth, but due to the giving nature of it's people. It is easy to give to friends and family but it is the giving to strangers and your enemies that is the sign of True Christianity.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 3:00PM
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I lived in Eastern NC and I was always told if I was low on food feel free to pick what I needed and pay if you have it. Most people did not mind as long as you were taking it for your family and not to sell. But then again it was a small town and we never considered our neighbors a stranger as long as you waved.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 6:59PM
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Thanks for the input. Some people seem to think it's very common...just wanted to get an idea of what to expect.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 7:16PM
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We live in the country, and none of our neighbors are friendly. A lot have criminal records. Anyway, we had to fence off our property to keep them out, as when we were building our house during the weekends if we hadn't kept our supplies with us they would have grown legs and walked away. We had someone try to kick in our front door as well, but it had a dead bolt on it. Still they cracked the door frame. We have a dog and will be getting another one to run around our garden perimeter this spring. Our property is pretty well fenced, which helps keep people from coming on and stealing stuff now. An electric fence can also help too. It won't keep people out if they are determined, but it can dissuade the casual thief.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 12:29PM
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When we lived in the burbs, we had a few instances of crop theft but I don't believe those people were "desperate," but more casual "Oh, home grown maters!" A few things snatched here and there. I now live in the country and the way we are set up, I doubt we would have crop theft. Theft of tools and equipment is another story. People are so desperate these days, not only because of the economy but because of the rampant drug abuse abounding in every town and city in this country. Most thefts around here will be traced to people trying to get money or supplies to make or purchase drugs. Sad but true. I think Seramas hit the nail on the head and it was said in such a beautiful way. If we know our neighbors are in need we should give what we can and do so in a way that allows them some pride. Most of my neighbors garden or farm and we trade a lot of produce through the year. Lori

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 5:47PM
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goodhors(z5 MI)

Theft of tools around here is rampant. Many get resold on Ebay, gone before they get caught.

If you plan to leave things on the property, they will probably be gone sooner or later. Simple tools, shovel, fork, hammer or two, probably would be ok. Chainsaw, tiller, garden tractor, not good.

It won't matter if you live on or off, sooner or later they will come looking. Our hay folks lost a whole bunch of tools when they were gone one day. Barn is not 200 ft from the house. In this instance, it probably is a neighbor or an ex-employee, customer, who visits and knows what they had. Too bad, nice older couple who work hard for their money.

If you go with the dog protection, you MUST have the farm area well fenced, so bored dog CAN NOT get out to cause other problems. One of the problems with the Livestock Guardian breeds, is that they get tempted to "visit" if neighbors are near. Good fences make good neighbors. Keeps your animals home, and other folks animals out of your place. If you are not on-site with the dog, the good fencing becomes even more important as a control device.

Dog alone, may or may not keep folks out. Poison or a bullet is cheap if they think there is valuable items in the building. Locks won't help much, they wreck the door or windows as mentioned.

Maybe just easier to haul your tools in the truck, each trip out to work the garden or farm.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 5:36PM
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