Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Central Iowa Farm Watch program adds website to help ID and track down stolen property

A Central Iowa program designed to encourage rural residents to report suspicious behavior has become more advanced, with the addition of a website to allow local residents to become more active in reporting crimes, Gavin Aronsen reports for the Ames Tribune. Farm Watch, launched one year ago, is a partnership between DuPont and the sheriff's office in Story County (Family Search map) that asks farmers and rural residents to place signs on or near their property with a phone number to report suspicious activity.

Program participants are given "local identification numbers that can be used to track down stolen property from around the country," Aronsen writes. ID numbers can be used "to mark personal property against theft, potentially allowing law enforcement officers to return stolen goods even if they are discovered months later by police outside the state."

Story County Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald told Aronsen, “We need many more eyes in rural areas because of the wide open areas that we have to patrol where you don’t have a lot of neighborhood eyes watching out." (Read more)

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