A newsletter set up by a sheriff sergeant in California is helping to combat crime related to farm equipment.
According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, Sergeant Tim Hagel set up the newsletter, which is called FarmWatch. Hagel produces the newsletter twice a month and e-mails it to subscribers.
In FarmWatch, Hagel presents tips for protecting farm equipment, theft patterns and people who are suspected of committing crimes in the area. Through e-mail forwarding, the newsletter may reach up to 700 farmers in the county.
"We were chasing after thieves left and right," Hagel told the paper. "We linked up all of the farmers out of frustration."
Along with the newsletter and more strict regulations on metal recycling, crimes associated with farms dropped by 24 percent during the summer of 2009 when compared to the same time in 2008. Furthermore, crime is being combated through a number of agricultural task forces in the state, which combine the efforts of multiple counties.
The National Equipment Register has noted there are a number of ways people who own heavy machines, including farm equipment, can protect their property. Those include anchoring equipment, installing anti-theft devices or removing tires if the equipment is rarely used.