When protecting our health, our horses, our liability or property with appropriate insurance, the goal is the same – guard against a costly loss. Add prevention of theft to your check lists. What can we learn from the victims who have had tack stolen? Take a moment to review tips for safe guarding your tack and farm equipment from thieves.
The old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is pure common sense when it comes to safeguarding the basics of well-being in our every day lives. When it comes to our tack and farm equipment, location will often dictate to what extent you feel it necessary to guard against theft. The following list may help you decide what methods you should implement:
1. Topping the list – place a sturdy lock on your tack room, storage areas or horse trailer and then lock it. Also, secure your windows. If you have a tack trunk, locking that is a good idea too.
2. Consider suitable sound or motion-sensor lights or alarm systems.
3. Consider steel storage vented mini-lockers. These are difficult to break into.
4. Don’t leave your very expensive tack vulnerable to theft. See that it is returned to a safe place when you return home from a show or event.
5. Cooperate with neighbors. Be aware of who is in your neighborhood. Note strange vehicles slowly driving by.
6. Report anything suspicious. Note license numbers and vehicle descriptions.
7. *If your saddle or equipment does not carry a serial number, consider engraving your driver’s license number or an “owner applied number” (OAN) on the leather under the front left flap of your saddle and other valuable items. Include your state abbreviation code to help law enforcement agencies.
8. Report theft at once with a full description.
9. Carry a copy of the burglary report with the case number. If you happen upon your saddle or stolen equipment, do not confront the person. Call the nearest law enforcement agency and ask that an officer respond. Show the officer the copy of your report and let the officer handle everything.
10. Invite your local police to your place to evaluate ways to secure your property from thieves.
11. Schedule farm personal property on your farmowners insurance policy. Talk to your agent about any limitations on coverage.
Increased incidents of theft are seasonal with more taking place in warm weather. Thieves will often follow the show circuit which is just underway in much of the country. Be aware – someone is watching. They know what they are looking for and where to find it. They carry out their plan day or night. They may be someone you know so the dogs (a great deterrent) may not bark when they come. And finally, discourage the burglar with obstacles to a quick “in and out” theft. In other words, don’t make it easy.
*Stolen items that have a serial number or OAN can be entered in to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC). This is an electronic clearinghouse of crime data that can be tapped by criminal justice agencies nationwide.