Nation e-Edition

Farmer hit by thieves again

Farmer Michael Pile in the devastated field of sweet potatoes in Barrows, St George. He said he had lost more than $2 000 worth of the produce. (Picture by Jameel Springer.)

Sun, January 13, 2013 - 12:05 AM

Thieves have wasted no time in striking farmer Michael Pile.

Only a few days after he was in last week’s SUNDAY SUN speaking about predial larceny, thieves dug up more than $2 000 worth of sweet potatoes and a small quantity of carrots.

“I lost these potatoes Wednesday night. They took 45 rods of sweet potatoes, about 450 running feet, more than 1 000 pounds in all, worth more than $2 000,” he said.

The tubers were taken from Barrows, which is part of Pile’s Brighton, St George plantation. He said he thought it was only going to get worse but he would continue farming.

“They come in here and maul [the sweet potatoes]. Something like this only discourages you from planting, but I can’t say I will stop; farming is in my blood.”

Pile said he had spent more than $10 000 hiring people to watch over his fields “from dusk till dawn” for the past two and a half months.

At Lower Valley, Pile said the small number of carrots taken appeared to be a test for the thieves.

“They were just taking a sample to see if it’s worthwhile to come back and take more; whether they’re up to their standards,” he said.

Recently, managing director of Armag Farms, Richard Armstrong, lost 1 500 rods of sweet potatoes. He said he suspected the sheer volume of produce being taken away meant there was someone “big in this country” behind it. (CA)

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Posted by c holder 1 year, 7 months ago
And nothing continues to be done about predial larceny in this country. Our farmers who make such a tremendous investment continue to be ignored and frustrated by a system that has only paid lip service to agriculture.
Shameful and disgusting!

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Posted by Cheese On 1 year, 7 months ago
This is a hard toss, because if he had shot at them, it would be a different story. We need to continue growing crops if we are going to reduce our large food import bill. BUT how can farmers & people in general be encouraged to do so when people are STEALING weeks and months of hard labour in one night? It is Unfair and a difficult one to solve!

  • 0
Posted by Carl Harper 1 year, 7 months ago
Who's guarding the guards?

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Posted by young dennis 1 year, 7 months ago
A log time ago a man would have been scared of the overseer's gun, but in this time , his black heart knows NO FEAR

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Posted by hyacinth benskin saroop 1 year, 7 months ago
And if one had to shoot these people now... if caught in the act.. they would be charged... now how fair is that ? The people that were hired to watch the fields (its a big plantation to cover) they won't be able to be here and there too,and who would want to be killed, who would be protecting them, so in the end the plantation owner loses lots of money.

  • 2
Posted by J. Payne 1 year, 7 months ago
In Trinidad when people have problems with tiefin' they does inject some laxative in them and wait for the thieves to come take them. Lesson learned soon enough afterwards. In that case your head pays for your gutts. Unfort. people that buy from the thieves also get taught the lesson too.

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Posted by Chris Wright 1 year, 7 months ago
Hmmmm! I sure agree with Carl Harper on this one.

After spending $10 000 for watching the fields this seems like a case of "the fox is watching the hen house"

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Posted by Janet Mayers 1 year, 7 months ago
The watchmen might be thieves as well.
Mr.Pile may have to work a few unannounced midnight shifts and learn to shoot from both hips.
It would be a case of STAND YOUR GROUND for sure.
Imagine after working so hard and expecting to reap the result of your labor some people just come and gather it from under your nose.Good reason to inflict bodily harm or send someone to their eternal home.

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Posted by Pan Wallie 1 year, 7 months ago
$10,000 spent on hiring security personnel and not a man is caught? Were they asleep? Dig some wells, and operate the covers with some mechanical device (or some chip) that would open them at night for the thieves' pleasure and close them early morning for workers' protection.

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