Thieves hit the ‘big guys,’ too

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SALEM, Ohio – Individual farms aren’t the only locations being hit by anhydrous ammonia thieves. Co-ops and dealers are also targets, and that is why Ohio AgriBusiness Association covers theft at the annual anhydrous ammonia safety seminars.

Prevention, theft tips. Brian Peach, secretary-treasurer of the association, offers the following tips on how to handle anhydrous ammonia theft and prevention:

* Dealers should line up their tanks in a uniform way so they can all be easily viewed.

* Always have the same person do the daily inspection of the tanks. With the same person always doing the inspection, he or she will be able to more easily notice if something changes from one day to the next.

* Develop a good working relationship with the local authorities so they will know where the dealer is located and know to watch for anything that looks out of the ordinary.

* Don’t hesitate to call the local authority if there is suspicion of tampering, and don’t touch anything. The area is considered a crime scene.

The one-day seminars are offered the last week of February and are usually located near Springfield, Findlay and Bellevue. Eighty to 90 independent and co-op dealers and their employees attend each, Peach said.

The seminars are geared toward the safe handling of anhydrous ammonia, not just on theft.

For more information about the seminar, call 614-326-7520.

ODA tips. The Ohio Department of Agriculture offers the following further tips for guarding against theft:

* Farmers and dealers should put their tanks in well-lit areas that are visible from the road.

* Valves should be locked when not in use.

* Tanks should be delivered as close to the time of application as possible and returned immediately after use.

* Be aware of suspicious items that might indicate theft, including duct tape, garden hoses, bicycle inner tubes, buckets or coolers.

For more information call 614-728-6270.

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