Ag/Citrus Crime ‘More Significant than Most People Realize’

Ernie NeffCitrus


Ned Hancock

At the recent Highlands County Citrus Growers Association annual meeting, outgoing association president Ned Hancock praised the county sheriff’s department for hiring more agricultural deputies. Hancock responded to the question, “How big a problem is ag crime/citrus crime?”

“In my opinion it’s much more significant than most people realize, because so much of the ag crime goes unreported,” Hancock says. He explains that a grower who finds something missing may say to himself, “I don’t have time to do this (report the theft); it’s only a few hundred dollars or whatever it is.”

“Diesel fuel theft, tire theft, small equipment theft and just general vandalism have really gotten to be a pretty significant problem in the agricultural community,” Hancock says. “We’ve even seen a lot of people stealing fruit.”

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About the Author

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large