The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office has expanded its community-policing efforts by creating the Agriculture Crime Unit. The Ag Crime Unit was created from existing resources to reduce crime by building partnerships specific to the Agricultural community. The Ag Crime Unit consists of specially trained and equipped Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputies focused on safeguarding the agricultural industry and the rural community. The Ag Crime Unit is expected to strengthen ties with rural property owners to address their unique crime problems, and work with them to find solutions. They are responsible for investigating all agricultural crimes, including but not limited to:
- Theft of farming-related commodities, supplies, and equipment.
- Rural Burglaries, Illegal Dumping, and Trespassing.
- Wildlife and Forestry Crimes
- Livestock Welfare
- Arson, Property Damage and Crop Destruction
Additional responsibilities include:
- Providing Farmers with updates on current crime trends and solutions to better safeguarding equipment and livestock.
- Supporting rural Search and Rescue efforts for lost/missing persons including water rescues.
- Strengthening partnerships with local, State and National agriculture organizations.
- Assisting in large-animal capture and emergency fence repair.
Implementing crime-prevention programs through local youth groups and agricultural associations.
Lincoln County, as part of the St. Louis metropolitan area, has experienced tremendous growth during the past several years. However, it still maintains a distinctive rural character with more than 1,000 farms consisting of nearly 350 square miles of land, generating over $80 million dollars in Ag products annually. Agriculture is Missouri’s largest industry. Missouri is rank #16 among the 50 states in agricultural production with annual sales amounting to around $9 billion dollars. Agricultural crimes in rural areas include burglaries and theft of equipment, fuel, livestock, chemicals, grain, and metal, as well as property damage and arson. Its estimated annual losses to agricultural crime across the United States is $5 billion dollars.
Contact the LCSO Agriculture Crimes Unit at (636)528-8546 EXT 3228
Find more information about Livestock and Farm Protection at Missouri Department of Agriculture