Stopping Farm Theft in Hawaii

Stopping Farm Theft in Hawaii

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Farming Forward Hawaii (FFH) started this petition to police department and

We appreciate the support of Mayor Harry Kim, Council Chair Valerie Poindexter, Council Member Sue Lee Loy, Tim Richards, Aaron ChungDru Kanuha, Karen Eoff, Maile David, Jennifer Ruggles, Council Member-Elect Ashley KierkiewiczMatt Kanealii-Kleinfelder, County Prosecutor Mitch Roth, Deputy Prosecutor Shane Muramaru, Police Chief Paul Ferreira, Major Samuel Jelsma, Puna Captain Kenneth Quiocho, Hilo Captain Greg Esteban. Success in stopping farm theft will take a group effort, and your support is essential.

Farm theft is a concern for farmers in the Big Island and for agricultural producers in the State of Hawaiʻi.

Theft of crops, supplies, and equipment is an increasing problem. Financial losses to farmers and emotional distress to victims are a few impacts of farm theft that affects rural businesses, communities, and families.

Local farms are vulnerable to thieves because criminals have become organized. They case the farm, plan the heist, and hit when no one is there. With the cooperation of Hawaiʻi County leadership in Police, Prosecutors, and Executive and Legislative Branches, farmers will be one step ahead of criminals.

Farmers need this type of cooperation to keep their farms safe and viable.

Agricultural crimes are classified as theft in the second degree that is a class C felony, punishable by imprisonment for a period of not more than 5 years and/or a fine of not more than $10,000. (§ 706-660(2), § 706-640(c).)

For the first offense of theft in the second degree, the court may impose a minimum sentence of a fine of at least $1,000 or two times the amount of damages sustained by the victim, whichever is greater. (§ 708-831(2).)

To stop farm theft, farmers recommend that additional funds be used to hire personnel, purchase surveillance and marking equipment, develop an agricultural crime database, promote aggressive prosecution of agricultural crime, and educate farmers and law enforcement about such crime and how to combat it.

For a complete evaluation of farm theft, a comprehensive plan is needed to enact initiatives and adopt policies. As a result, with the cooperation of various government agencies, farmers can be a step ahead of criminals.

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!