A Rakaia farmer is "irate"
after rustlers stole an estimated 100 sheep from his Overdale
farm, police say.
It is the second major stock theft in the area after
approximately 60 calves were stolen from nearby paddocks last
December, prompting Senior Constable Mike Jackson to confirm
a possible link between the incidents.
Mr Jackson said the latest theft happened overnight on April
23 when about 100 hogget, with an estimated value of $9000,
were loaded on to a large truck by a number of offenders near
the State Highway 1 and Pendarves Rakaia Road intersection,
"We believe that a large truck had to be used to take them
away, we are talking a large number of hogget here. We also
believe they used a loading ramp that was in the paddock to
get them on to the truck," Mr Jackson said.
"The farmer is absolutely irate, and frustrated about it."
Stock rustling has been highly documented in Canterbury over
recent months, with Federated Farmers claiming it costs the
country up to $120 million a year.
Mr Jackson said reported stock thefts were not common in Mid
Canterbury, but guessed many cases went unreported,
particularly when "just the odd one goes missing".
Rustling is classed as general theft, but offenders found
selling meat on the black market can be charged under the
Animal Products Act, facing up to two years in prison and a
fine of up to $100,000.
Mr Jackson was at odds to explain what had happened to the
stock, and had no major leads.
Federated Farmers meat and fibre chairwoman Jeanette Maxwell
said in yesterday's Guardian column that court punishments
did not got far enough for rustlers, some who brutally killed
"Hopefully the major Canterbury rustling ring broken by
police will see a much stiffer punishment if the offenders
are found guilty," she said.
Information related to the Overdale stock theft can be
reported to Rakaia police on 03 302-7009 or anonymously on
Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- By Myles Hume of the