Thieves Target Ohio Farmers

WOOD COUNTY -- More and more Ohio farmers are becoming crime victims. And fuel tanks seem to be easy targets, which is why farmers now turn off the tanks and lock the caps, reports News 11's Dick Berry.

"For some reason somebody gets the idea they can vandalize something just for the heck of it or something like that. That seems to be the way," says Paul Schneider.

Farmer Scott Meyer says he always locks up his farm equipment. He knows thieves can siphon out the fuel -- and even strip a tractor or combine for scrap metal. And if Meyer does leave machinery in a field, he makes sure it's parked next to a well-lighted farmhouse.

"Some people are looking to make an easy buck. It's different than it used to be. People look to take advantage of anything they can," Meyer says.

Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn says there's not a crime wave sweeping the area. But there have been some recent incidents of arson and other crimes.

"We've been working with Toledo Police where people have been coming down, stealing scrap metal and taking it to yards. We are working on that now," Wasylyshyn says.

Meyer realizes rural communities are not immune to crime. He'll just keep valuable property under lock and key and away from roads.

"I still love being out here, and it's just a few vandals that take advantage and it happens in the city, too," Meyer says.

The Wood County Sheriff's Department says making it more difficult for people to steal will decrease the likelihood of something being stolen.

Posted by KO