In "California's Fresno County—the U.S.'s biggest farm county by revenue—thieves took $1.1 million worth of metal from agricultural lands in 2013, nearly four times the total stolen in 2009, according to estimates by the Fresno County Sheriff's Office," Carlton and Dreibus write. Nearby Hilmar, with a population less than 5,000, began a neighborhood watch group in 2011 after a rash of thefts. Today, the group has more than 3,000 members connected through Facebook and email."
Colorado has a group called Ranch Watch, which "assigns an identification number that is posted at the entrance to a ranch or farm," Carlton and Dreibus write. "The number is linked to the property owner's name, address and phone number, making it easier for law enforcement and others to contact the owner if they see anything suspicious."
Greene County, Missouri, has a program called Citizens On Patrol, where volunteers "receive 40 hours of training before they patrol in pairs in marked cars," reporting suspicious activity to law-enforcement dispatchers, Carlton and Dreibus write. The group has about two dozen volunteers, but is expected to double in size. (Read more)