VICTORIA Police have arrested a woman and a teenage boy after a month-long investigation into theft of sheep and beef cattle calves in northern Victoria.
Members from Eastern Region Crime Team, with assistance from regional detectives, executed warrants in Colac and Werneth yesterday.
The warrants were simultaneously executed about 7.30am and a 53-year-old Colac woman and a 17-year-old Werneth boy were arrested. The pair continue to assist police with their enquiries.
Eight Speckle Park beef calves, comprising a heifer and seven bulls were stolen from a dairy farm on Blamey Road, Yarroweyah last Friday June 7 and recovered following the raids this morning. Sheep stolen from saleyards in Shepparton on May 19 have not yet been recovered.
Eastern Region Crime Team Inspector Matthew Baynes said today’s arrests reflect Victoria Police’s dedication to farm-related crime, in particular theft of livestock across regional Victoria.
“We know the farming community is concerned about incidents of stock theft and we want to reassure everyone that police take this issue very seriously.
“We have a dedicated Agricultural Liaison Officer program (AGLO) which is a collection of more than 60 members across the state who have expert skills in investigating livestock theft and farm crime,” he said.
AGLOs oversee farm crime and livestock theft investigations where required, provide advice guidance and assistance to members, establish and maintain relationships with farming partners, liaise with the farming community, encourage reporting of livestock theft, maintain a contemporary knowledge of local trends and issues and engage with partners to identify and mitigate risks in farming practice.
“We want to remind the farming community that police are here to help.
“It’s important that any incident is always reported to police at the earliest opportunity so that we can investigate fully,” Inspector Baynes said.
“If you see any suspicious behaviour, particularly stock crates or trailers which appear out of place, then we encourage you to report this to police or to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.”
Source: Victoria Police.