The head of the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) James Paul is hopeful that the recent jailing of two crop thieves will help stem the increasing number of cases of praedial larceny.
“At least there is clear evidence, and action is being taken by the Royal Barbados Police Force to try to apprehend those persons who are responsible for praedial larceny,” Paul told Barbados TODAY.
Grantley DaCosta McDonald Thorpe, 52, of Valley Land, St George was today remanded to prison after he pleaded guilty for stealing 105 pounds of sweet potatoes.
His plea came just a day after Ian Emmerson Bennett, 41, of Cliff, St John was slapped with an 18-month jail term on five counts of theft of produce.
“At least these penalties that are there under the law are being imposed in order to let people understand that they cannot go around stealing people’s crops like that and depriving them of their livelihoods. So I must say in terms of the farming community, certainly they will be pleased to see that action is being taken by the law to apprehend those persons,” BAS head said.
He stated that praedial larceny had become “increasingly rampant and some people were actually going to the point of actually ignoring [it].
“I think the fact that people are being sent to prison for it would make people think twice, but all of this cannot be done without the cooperation of the public,” the BAS chief executive said.
Paul explained that a farmer could lose as much as $10, 000 from crop theft on any given night. (FW)