Hay rustling on the rise in area counties - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Hay rustling on the rise in area counties

Amarillo, TX - Area farmers are seeing a new type of crime develop as the state continues to endure the drought.

Hay rustling is the crime, and farmers like Tammy Robinson have been targeted as the victim.

"The thief would back his pick-up to the stack and then he would grab the middle of the haystack by the string. He would then pull that whole layer of hay right onto his pick-up. The thief would pick up exactly the same amount of hay every time," says Tammy Robinson, Owner of Robinson's Hay & Nutrition.

The thief would use a back road to come out onto the property and steal 28 bales of hay. The thief came onto the property multiple times before being seen.

One reason behind the crime is this year's high feed prices.

When you put stolen hay into the equation, consumers begin to feel the affects.

"With the drought and the high price of hay, a lot of producers have had to sell off their cattle and make it a lower supply. Beef prices will rise in the future because of the shortage of cattle on feed," says John Harshbarger, Owner of Ranchers Supply.

Hay rustling is not just happening in Amarillo; now it is spreading across Moore, Carson, and Deaf Smith County.

There are enough incidents that law enforcement officials are on high alert.

"If we know where people have several bales of hay stacked, we try to hit it more times than usual. We put an extra patrol on them and check up more regularly than before," says Moore County Sheriff Bo DeArmond.

Now when customers come to Robinson's Hay & Animal Nutrition, they don't just get service, they leave with a message.

"Just keep your eyes open, just be aware of what's going on out there," says Tammy Robinson, Owner of Robinson's Hay & Animal Nutrition.

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