DEARBORN, Mo. — As harvest-time approaches for farmers in north Platte County, authorities say burglars have been active. Victims say farm equipment and tools have been targeted in broad daylight.
Authorities say the activity focuses on a sparse stretch of roads northeast of Dearborn leading into Buchanan County.
About 20 burglaries have been reported in recent days, according to information posted to the Platte County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page.
Buchanan County Sheriff Bill Puett said they have also received multiple burglary reports over the past few weeks and adds DeKalb and Clinton Counties have also seen recent upticks in burglary activity.
The rolling hills off Missouri V Highway provide scenery along the route for the local tractor cruise. Cars pass through but it’s low traffic, normal life for farmers like Jim Anderson who — until recently — wasn’t taking the keys out of his vehicles.
“Sunday after church, of course, we came home and we ate a little bit and I went down to the shop to do a couple things. And I seen where they had broke a window out,” Anderson recalled.
“What they got away with was lots and lots of tools. I collect Mobil Oil memorabilia and they took a lot of that,” Anderson said.
“Then we found out Monday that they had hit more stuff in this area,” Anderson said.
The Platte County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public: “If you have surveillance video that contains any suspicious activity, please report that as well, no matter how little it may be,” according to its post.
Sheriff Puett also said one challenge is many neighbors talk to each other about the break-ins first and don’t always think to call law enforcement early on.
Puett also said that it is possible the burglars could be active beyond his county and Platte County, reaching out to Clinton and Dekalb counties as well.
Rod Slump, who lives in the area, said it’s making people in the area think twice.
“Friends of ours that live down the road had an intruder in their house at night, so we were kind of aware of it,” Slump said.
“You know, when something like this happens, you just feel invaded. People come in and busted your privacy up. You just feel invaded,” Anderson said.
“And they probably will — stub their toe somewhere and do something wrong and somebody will catch them. And hopefully it’s the police who do it.”
Other neighbors tell FOX4 that they’ve had their property opened and looked at but nothing stolen, potentially being cased for later.