Police appeal for help in catching sheep rustlers

18:41, Feb 21 2013

Another case of sheep rustling has Invercargill police appealing for public help.

Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Bowman said police had received a report of 15 lambs being stolen in the Makarewa area.

The animals are believed to have been taken about two weeks ago.

The latest case of sheep rustling follows three other incidents of stock theft and slaughter this year and indicated thieves were continuing to target rural properties, Mr Bowman said.

Police really needed help from people living in rural Southland to catch the elusive thieves.

"We want rural communities to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity right away at all times," he said.

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Police were concerned thieves could also turn their attention to farm machinery, he said.

"These people must have a trailer or large vehicle and this means it is possible they could steal motorbikes and other machinery."

He said there had been reports during the past weeks of theft on rural properties and with days getting shorter it was even more important for people to be vigilant.

"Because it is getting darker earlier, there is potentially more opportunity for thieves to target rural properties," Mr Bowman said.

Anyone with information should call Invercargill police on 03 211 0400 or the anonymous Crimestoppers line 0800 555 111.

The Southland Times