Jamaica As the Praedial Prevention Unit continues its crack down on theft, unscrupulous persons are finding other ways and means to steal cattle and other domesticated animals in the community of Treadway in Linstead, St Catherine.
Farmer Damion Smith revealed that the thieves had developed more criminally ingenious plans to commit acts of praedial larceny. Smith, who had lost animals two days prior to the Loop News visit, said that thieves are lighting bush fires to provide a distraction to steal animals, a new trend that alarms farmers and the authorities alike.
“What the thieves doing is light bush near to where you tie the animals. And when the fire ah blaze, and you think is assistance them giving, them thief the animals and gone. The amount of fires set I lost pumpkin, sorrel, goats, cow and chickens. Right now if you look in the fowl coop some of the chickens still suffering from the inhalation of the smoke,” he said.
“I am just 29 years old and trying to make a living and persons mashing me up. Is over 800 chickens I had and right now I lose more than half,” a frustrated Smith said.
Divisional head for the St Catherine Fire Department James Lee confirmed that there were bush fires in the area but however was unable to say what led to the fires.
Loop News visited other farmers in Treadway in Linstead who expressed a litany of problems with praedial larcenists.
“I lost nine goats last year and is just this week they came back for more and stole pigs and goats. It’s terrible and lots of people losing animals. Just the other day, a young man, him head not so good, tried stealing my goat and I catch him. But he lives here and because him head nuh right him mother talk to me and I drop the case. Is not just insiders but also outsiders stealing the animals,” farmer Everton Smith complained.
The same sentiments were also expressed by Deloris Smith from the Charlemont Farm Scheme.
“November, I lost seven goats and thieves promised to chop up farmers and it’s not pretty and we need some assistance,” Smith said, lines of concern spreading across her forehead.