Axedale farmer Tim Harrington decided to get security cameras after noticing hay was disappearing from his shed at a rapid date.
He set one up on his gate and another in his hay shed circa 2014.
Footage from those cameras led police to a stash of stolen and illegal goods, which police say was worth about $250,000.
With thefts from farming properties an ongoing issue, Mr Harrington and Leading Senior Constable Dan O’Bree of Heathcote police are bringing the farming community together to talk about security.
About 10 companies that manufacture security cameras will attend Thursday’s Farm Security Expo at Bendigo Stadium, which will continue on Friday.
Also in attendance will be emergency services and representatives from the health sector, including Bendigo Health and Beyond Blue.
The expo is an initiative of Victoria Police, Crime Stoppers and the Victorian Farmers Federation and will run from 9am until 3pm each day.
Leading Senior Constable O’Bree said it was important farmers knew about the options available to them to reduce their likelihood of becoming victims of crime.
“We’re trying to give them some ideas to beef up their security,” he said.
He said the expo, being held for the first time in central Victoria, had attracted interest from farmers throughout the state.
People have been phoning him from areas such as Horsham to get involved.
Victorian farms and agricultural properties were the victims of 331 burglaries in the 12 months to March 2016, 59 more than the year before.
Leading Senior Constable O’Bree said a Heathcote farmer made a particularly gruesome discovery in May of unknown offenders stealing meat from their sheep.
“[They] had noticed for some time sheep going missing,” he said.
“The farmer returned to the property one day to find offal and skin left and the sheep gone, and a sheep with its back legs removed.”
The property owner lives in Heathcote, away from the land they work.
Mr Harrington said people would be surprised what they would find from having security cameras.
“People should get them and learn how to use them,” he said.
What showed up on his cameras, in March 2014, was a car and group of men in his hay shed stealing bales of hay.
Police recognised one man and executed a warrant at an address in central Victoria, where they found an assortment of items including Mr Harrington’s hay bales.
The man was sentenced to 22 months imprisonment in relation to items discovered during the police raid.
Heath also in focus
Health will also be highlighted at a farm security expo being held for the first time in central Victoria.
Bendigo Health and Beyond Blue will be among the organisations attending the expo at Bendigo Stadium.
Paul Rumpff of Bendigo Health said there would be health screenings available throughout Thursday and Friday.
He said key health professionals would conduct presentations about topics such as oral health, healthy diet, and when to come to the Emergency Department.
They would also be available to have a chat about how to stay healthy and what to do in the event of a health concern.
“We understand in regional areas it can sometimes be difficult to access health services, so this is a wonderful opportunity to speak directly to our health professionals,” Mr Rumpff said.
He praised Victoria Police, Crime Stoppers and the Victorian Farmers Federation on the initiative.
Leading Senior Constable Dan O’Bree of Heathcote police said people could call the station on 5433 3711 for more information.