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After Police and farmers worked together to bust a major East Coast stock rustling ring last year, Federated Farmers is warning rustlers to find a different line of work in 2013.
“Late last year, two people were convicted of rustling 160 sheep but realistically, that was possibly the tip of an iceberg,” says Hamish Cave, spokesperson for Federated Farmers Gisborne-Wairoa.
“This ring was busted because farmers saw suspicious activity, took down details and called the Police.
“If anyone thinks the Police do not take rustling seriously, the conviction of Shawn Elsmore and his uncle, Brian Raymond Middleton last year, should make these low-life’s think twice.
“Not that they saved the taxpayer money by admitting their guilt. Instead, it took multiple witnesses and even DNA evidence for Judge Tompkins to find them both guilty.
“As the immediate past Gisborne-Wairoa provincial president, I would like to thank the Police for their hard work. Smashing this ring sends a powerful message to all rustlers.
“What I want to stress here is that farmers and the public should not be scared to take note of what seems out of the ordinary. I know the Police will take it seriously but unless we help them out they cannot do much.
“The relationship I have helped to build with Police in Gisborne-Wairoa represents what can be achieved when a community works together for a successful outcome.
“Long may that relationship continue, “Mr Cave concluded.