Farm Watch

Message from Detective Chip Cadman:
In this Farm Watch, I want to wish everyone a happy New Year! Let me also remind everyone to take steps in order to prevent becoming the victims of crime this upcoming year.
Ranches and farms are attractive targets of crime because there is expensive equipment, materials and supplies in accessible areas. Ranches and farms are in remote and isolated areas, where criminal activity can occur without being seen. Developing and implementing security practices can help protect you and your property.
Place signs warning potential thieves of video surveillance and alarm systems, security guards, or dogs. No Trespassing signs are useful in establishing your property line. Gates and fences are also effective security measures. Check fence lines to ensure they are secure and intact. Use gates at entrances/exits onto your property and lock them when not in use with heavy duty chains and padlocks. Use other means, such as large posts/poles, drainage ditches, or large boulders to prevent vehicles from accessing your property.
If it is necessary to leave equipment in the field:
• Know what equipment is in the field and ensure it is marked with your OAN. Position the equipment where it can be seen from a house, work station, or by a foreman. Park or place the equipment out of sight behind a road, treeline, or hill.
• Remove keys, have a hidden kill switch, or disable the equipment by disconnecting the power or by other means. If equipment is a vehicle with doors, ensure they are locked when not in use.
• Secure smaller farm equipment to large objects with heavy chains and case hardened padlocks. If possible remove one tire from a side.
• Batteries are easy targets and should have lockable cases over them.
• Place lockable caps on fuel openings.
Farm and Ranch buildings:
• Door hinges should be mounted on the interior of the door. Spot weld externally mounted hinge pins.
• On doors use heavy-duty strike plates and long screws (such as 2½”).
• Secure overhead rolling doors by drilling a hole in the track, above the roller, and insert a heavy padlock.
• Double-swing doors should have a well secured track at its base so the door cannot be swung open enough for a person to gain entrance.
• Windows can be secured using a commercial slide-block or by drilling a downward hole through a bottom sash and inserting a pin.
• Metal bars or heavy screens can be used to secure high-risk windows.
Identification Of Property:
• Mark all tools, parts and equipment with your OAN (If you need an OAN please contact me).
• Maintain a complete inventory listing of all tools, machinery and equipment including any serial numbers and model numbers.
Vehicles and Farm Equipment:
• Vehicles and farm equipment should always be locked. DO NOT hide the keys in or on the vehicle.
• Do not leave tools or equipment in the back of a truck bed.
• Vehicle toolboxes should always be secured with heavy padlock and securely mounted to your vehicle.
• Machinery should not be left in fields overnight, if possible, and should not be parked with easy access to, or visible from a road.
• Chain equipment or machinery together if left overnight in fields.
Fuel Tank Security:
• Fuel tanks should always be locked.
• The control switch for electrically operated fuel tank pumps should be located in the house or a locked building.
• If located above ground, the fuel tank should be visible from the house but concealed from the roadway.
• Areas around fuel tanks should be well lighted.
Fertilizer, Pesticide & Fungicide:
• Remember not to stockpile your supplies, order only what you intend to apply.
• After receiving a delivery of supplies, move the supplies to another secure location in the event the suspect(s) are watching when and where your supplies have been delivered.
If you suspect illegal activity on your property:
• Call the Sheriff’s Office immediately at 911.
• Be a good witness; write down any important information and if possible use your cellular telephone to take photos for evidence.
• If a vehicle is involved, obtain a license plate number and note vehicle color, body damage, bumper stickers, camper shell, after market tires and wheels, etc.
• Note suspect(s) description such as age, height and weight, facial hair, clothing, and shoe type.
• Provide the dispatcher with information about the time and last known direction of travel.
If you’re not sure of how to address a problem or would like additional crime prevention, need assistance, need an Owner Applied Number (OAN), please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at (805) 384-4726 or by e-mail at
Additional station detective contacts;
Camarillo Detective Beau Rodriguez,
Ventura Detective Michael Rowland,
Fillmore Detective John Fox,
Ojai Detective William Hollowell,
Moorpark Detective Kenneth Truitt,
Protect yourselves and your property,
Desk Phone: (805) 384-4726 Cell Phone (805) 797-6424
Geoff Dean – Sheriff
Gary Pentis - Undersheriff