The following are some ways that identity thieves work:
If your wallet or purse is stolen you should:
If you are the victim of an ID theft, contact the following major credit bureaus:
P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834 Experian (formerly TRW) – Phone: 888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742) P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013 Equifax – Phone: (800) 525-6285 P.O. Box 105069, Atlanta, GA 30348.
If you're farming or ranching in California, there's a good chance you've been the victim of metal theft or know someone who has. From copper wire to brass valves to aluminum irrigation pipe, crooks are attacking at an alarming rate and doing a considerable amount of damage along the way.
The story is a familiar one: A farmer checks his pump in preparation for irrigating and finds that the copper wire has been stripped and there is no way to provide water to the fields. He makes the loop, checking all of the pumps on the property and learns he has been the victim of copper theft at multiple locations. Thieves have stripped the pumps in order to recycle the wire at the local scrap yard. Receiving approximately $3 a pound, the crooks have made a couple hundred dollars for their night's work – and left their victim facing a repair bill of $1,500 to $4,000 or more for each pump.
Farm Bureau was happy to sponsor legislation to address this issue and was successful in seeing a series of bills aimed at preventing metal theft signed into law in 2008. We will continue to work with law enforcement and the Legislature to ensure that solutions to metal theft remain a top priority.
Use the links below to learn more about laws to combat metal theft.
Thefts of solar panels have become an increasing problem in rural areas. Here are tips to prevent such thefts, offered by the Napa County Sheriff's Office Problem Oriented Policing Program:
Rural crime starts with trespassing. Whether the crime involves theft, vandalism or other property offenses, a person has to enter a farm or ranch illegally to commit the crime.
Under section 602.8 of the California Penal Code, a trespass on a farm or ranch is an infraction punishable by a $75 fine for a first offense, and by $250 for a second offense. A third or later offense is a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of imprisonment in the county jail for up to six months or a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
To benefit from the law, farmers and ranchers must ensure that "No Trespassing" signs are displayed properly around their lands that are neither cultivated nor fenced. Signs must be displayed at intervals of not less than three signs per mile along all exterior boundaries and at all roads and trails entering uncultivated and unfenced lands. Signs are not necessary around lands that are cultivated or fenced. Exception: Signs must be posted around all lands--even those that are cultivated or fenced--used for producing livestock for human consumption so a trespass can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor under Penal Code section 602, subdivision (h).
"No Trespassing" signs, in English, Spanish, or both are available to Farm Bureau members from CFBF. Shipping costs will be added to each order.
For more information, call toll-free, 800-698-FARM; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to the widespread concern for the increase in the number of thefts in the rural communities, the Owner Applied Number crime prevention program has been initiated in our state for the identification of farm machinery, equipment and even household goods.
O.A.N. is a program supported by numerous organizations and agencies including: the California Rural Crime Prevention Task Force, the California Highway Patrol, and California Farm Bureau Federation.
This FBI established system allows state and county to be assigned a number which is recorded in the NCIC (National Crime Information Center). A directory containing these numbers is available to each law enforcement agency for use in identifying the various state and counties.
This information enables the law enforcement agencies to pinpoint ID numbers within any state and county in the U.S., whether stolen equipment is found across the country or within the same county.
Residents of California should contact your local county sheriff's office for more information or to register a number.
Where should I mark my equipment? It has been proven that thieves are hesitant to take items that can be readily identified. Placing signs, decals, and other visible information warning potential thieves that this equipment has been marked and registered with the local law enforcement officials my help to prevent a possible theft.
One of the key elements in marking equipment is uniformity. Locate the mark on the right side of the equipment as you are standing behind it.
On all equipment with non-removable tongues; manure spreaders, grain drills, auger wagons, etc., place ID number on right side on top of tongue, 12″ to rear of hitch pin.
On 3 point equipment with tool bar, place ID number on top of tool bar adjacent to right hitch pin.
We recommend that you also mark your equipment in another location known only to you. If ID numbers are removed or destroyed, property can still be positively identified by the numbers on other locations.
Note: We suggest that the seller of equipment notify the new owner that the equipment has been marked. The new owner should then locate his number below the previous owner's number, so that the equipment can be traced from one owner to another. Do not alter or deface the previous owner's number.
Where to buy marking tools
Pipe Roller, stamps, ink, etc Pannier Corporation 207 Sandusky Street Pittsburgh, PA 15212 (412) 323 4900 www.pannier.com
Tire Brander Myers Tire Supply 7305 Edgewater Dr. Unit F Oakland, CA 94621 (510) 632-3404 or (800) 292-4687 www.myerstiresupply.com
As lawmakers and law enforcement officials intensify their efforts to halt the production and distribution of methamphetamines throughout California, farmers and ranchers urge them to remember the landowners who have been abused by "fly-by-night" clandestine labs. The illegal labs that produce methamphetamine tend to be located in remote farming areas.
Chemicals and waste materials from the manufacturing of methamphetamines can cause considerable harm to people and the environment. In addition, the cost of cleaning up Meth labs is staggering and usually falls on the shoulders of innocent property owners. With clean up costs as high as $150,000. Meth comes in many forms and can be smoked, snorted, orally ingested, or injected. Immediately after smoking the drug or injecting it intravenously, the user experiences an intense rush or "flash" that lasts only a few minutes. As with similar stimulants, users try to maintain the high by binging on the drug.
Signs of a Meth lab:
What to do if you come across a Meth lab:
How can I keep Meth labs away from my family and property:
What Meth cookers leave behind:
Call toll-free 1-866-METH-LAB to report any suspicious activity that might be a drug lab.
Be aware that every chemical substance you handle during the day, whether it is a liquid, solid, vapor, or dust, could cause you great harm if you aren't protected. Your first line of defense is knowing what each chemical can do to you physically and how it can affect your health.
OSHA found that many chemicals cause health conditions including heart ailments, lung, liver, and kidney damage, cancer, reproductive problems, burns, and dermatitis. Such health effects can be acute or chronic.
Acute health effects are those that appear rapidly after a brief exposure to the chemical(s). Chronic health effects are those that appear during and/or after long-term exposure to a chemical(s). Here are the general chemical categories that are health hazards:
You can determine chemical hazards by looking at the chemical's label and/or its material safety data sheet (MSDS). To minimize exposure, follow the directions you will find there. Protect yourself by understanding MSDSs (Material Safety Data Sheets) and chemical labels, wearing appropriate personal protective equipment like gloves and goggles, following appropriate safe work practices, and knowing proper emergency response. Talk to your safety director about these methods of protection.
(Information provided by J.J. Keller)
California Rural Crime Prevention Task Force is an integral part of the rural war on crime, dedicated to reducing crime through:
The California Rural Crime Prevention Task Force is a non-profit public benefit corporation. Membership is open to any organization or individual dedicated to law enforcement and crime prevention.
The Task Force meets quarterly at selected locations throughout the state. Crime prevention problems and law enforcement issues are assigned to committees that meet during the regular quarterly meetings and also in interim sessions. Training on specific crime prevention topics is provided at each quarterly meeting by experts in rural crime and agricultural operations. Meetings are conducted according to the bylaws, and actions and decisions are voted on by the regular members.
Contact the California Rural Crime Prevention Task Force at www.crcptf.org.
Target Population This course is designed to train patrol officers and investigative peace officers, public officers and crime prevention personnel in techniques necessary for effective rural crime prevention, reporting interdiction and investigation. Related law enforcement personnel are invited to attend.
For more information, visit www.crcptf.org.