Theft of farm meds a head-scratcher

A Chilliwack farm was targeted by thieves recently who stole some medications used for large animals.

Agri-Watch is a program aimed at rural crime.

Agri-Watch is a program aimed at rural crime.

Chilliwack farm operators may have to focus on locking up their valuables.

A local farm was targeted by thieves recently who stole some medications used for large animals.

A worker at the farm on Banford Road reported what happened, as a warning to others.

“They cleaned out the medicine cabinet about a month ago, taking all the injectables, and last night took the meds that were stored in a fridge that was hidden,” the farm worker said in her post.

They also took a drug called Estromate, which even a small amount will put a 1700-lb cow into heat or cause an abortion.

“These are dangerous drugs in the hands of the wrong people. And, yes, they will be locked up and stored elsewhere from now on,” she wrote. “It scares me to think what could happen if anyone tries to do these drugs.”

It was actually the fourth break-in they suffered on the farm in just two months, after experiencing no theft in 20 years.

“Watch out farmers, lock up your valuables.”

Devan Toop, program coordinator with Agri Watch, said at this time of year, local farmers are sometimes hit by crimes of opportunity.

“Thieves are always looking for a quick grab.

He’s heard of small implements, tools and pressure washers being stolen.

But ripping off medications for farm animals is a bit unusual.

“With meds being taken like this, it sounds like it could be someone who works in the industry,” said Toop. “It reeks of an inside job.”

He has no specific knowledge or information about these crimes, but he did hear of a veterinary clinic being broken into where some  butane was stolen.

“These kinds of incidents are always a concern,” he said.

Store valuables where they are inaccessible and can’t be seen. It helps to use locked cabinets to secure them.

Dr. Dan McDermid of Greenbelt Veterinary Hospital said they had a break-in last summer to their practice which mainly services farm animals.

They installed bars on the windows and security cameras, after some butane went missing.

“Not sure what they’re doing with it, unless it’s cooking drugs,” he said. “It doesn’t make sense.”

They never had any medications stolen, and it’s not clear how any of the stolen injectables from the farm would be used other than for intended purposes.

“It seems to be a lot of risk, for not much gain. And some of the meds are quite toxic. So if they’re just being adventurous or stupid, it means they have to be desperate to be playing with large animal meds.”