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Ag Theft Leads to Regulations Legitimate Producers Need to Know

May 25, 2021, 11:39 AM HST
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Regulations on agricultural sale and transport exist, among other reasons, to render more trackable the often elusive nature of crimes involving agricultural theft.

However, those regulations can ensnare people who farm honestly if such individuals don’t comply.

Due to the increasing reports of agricultural theft on Hawai’i Island, the Hawai’i Police Department on Tuesday, May 25, issued a reminder to the public that there are regulations set in place.

If you sell any amount of an agricultural commodity that is to be marketed for commercial purposes, or transport agricultural commodities weighing more than 200 pounds or the value is $100.00 or more, an OWNERSHIP AND MOVEMENT CERTIFICATE is required.

Proof of ownership is the first step in establishing a paper trail to help deter agricultural theft. If an inspector or law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe agricultural commodities are in unlawful possession, the inspector or law enforcement officer may request proof of ownership of the commodities, which could lead to the seizure of agricultural commodities and criminal penalties.

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Failure to comply with these requirements could result in criminal offenses to include a class C Felony. For more information and details on the regulation of farm produce, contact the Hawai´i Department of Agriculture. 

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Police ask anyone with any information about agricultural thefts to call the department at 935-3311 or Lieutenant William Derr of the Community Policing Section at 961-2350; via email at [email protected].

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