An overhead view of Dennis Duncan’s wheat field after a vehicle drove through it last week. (Contributed photo)

Police recover vehicle that likely destroyed a farmer’s wheat field

A stolen vehicle that likely drove through farmer Dennis Duncan’s wheat field was recently found abandoned in a ditch.

Duncan, owner of Coulee Ridge Farms in Bentley, was beyond frustrated last Tuesday when he saw the damage to his crops after a vehicle drove through it the night before.

Police have no leads on the suspects.

“It’s pretty frustrating because we get a lot of this,” said Duncan. “It’s been happening for years and years … I know it’s an ongoing problem with acquaintances, friends and neighbours.”

The damage could cost up to $1,000 or $2,000, but it’s more the inconvenience that frustrates Duncan, he said.

“We have big ruts to go over with the harvesting equipment and we’ll probably plug the cutter bar. It’s just going to cause problems,” he said.

Shortly after seeing the damage, Duncan posted photos on Facebook, which received more than 500 shares and 300 comments. Some people commented about bad they felt that he was losing money, but that’s not why he posted the photos.

“The reason I put the story on there is to show people what we have to put up with.”

A local tow truck operator reached out to Duncan after seeing the Facebook post and told him he recently helped RCMP tow a stolen vehicle with wheat stuck in its grill and undercarriage abandoned in a ditch not too far from his farm.

Duncan then contacted RCMP who told him it was likely the vehicle that damaged his and another nearby farm’s crop. No suspect was found in the incident.

Some commenters on the Facebook post have suggested Duncan fence in his property to avoid this problem in the future, but he said it would cost around $100,000 to do so. There’s also the possibility that people can snip right through a fence, he added.

“It’s just excessive cost to keep people out, but maybe in the future it’ll come to having every farmer to fence in his damn property because people like to drive in it,” he said.

Duncan has also seen three break-ins over the past year and a half, including someone trying to steal gas just two weeks ago.

sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

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