Rural crime is often overlooked by Iowans who live in the state’s growing towns and cities, but a case this week highlighted the cost, when one farmer irritated at his neighbor’s wandering cows was charged with theft of as much as 10-thousand dollars. Black Hawk County sheriff’s deputy Tony Thompson helps keep track of crime in the countryside. He points out an animal at market weight can bring a dollar a pound and weigh 800 to 1200 pounds, quite a bit of money. Livestock isn’t the only costly property a farmer or rural resident may have that offers an opportunity for theft.He points out a combine is “worth a Porsche” and a lot of rural burglaries and thefts include farm implements and lawn tractors, equipment worth thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars. The wide-open spaces you may drive past look peaceful, but the deputy knows rural crime is a continual problem in Iowa. Thompson says while there are advantages to living in the country, the open spaces of a rural setting can allow a criminal to operate where there’s far less chance of someone seeing them commit the crime. Thompson says the scourge of meth labs more often is found in rural areas for that reason, because it’s harder to find them and there’s less chance their strong odor and drug-dealing traffic will be noticed by neighbors.
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