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April 17, 2013

Theft of soybeans from Miami Co. farm in the tons

First reported grain theft could total a more than $16,000 loss.

PERU — Miami County detectives are investigating the theft of more than a semi trailer of soybeans worth more than $16,000 from a grain bin in the northern part of the county.

Detectives said the theft occurred on the 11000 block of North 450 East sometime between Jan. 9 and March 15. This is the first report of stolen grain in the county in at least 20 years, according to sheriff department officials.

Detectives said they didn’t want to release the amount or value of the stolen grain, but said it was more than a semi load, which on average is around 70,000 pounds.

With soybean prices in the area currently standing at around $14 per bushel, the value of the grain would be more than $16,000.

Detective Sergeant Mike Rogers said the suspects might have sold the beans at a whole-sale grain dealer without creating much suspicion it was stolen.

“There’s always a market for this type of thing,” he said.

Detective Larry Cattin said the grain bin is located on a farm, and the owner had pre-sold the beans on contract. He said the farmer discovered the missing grain when he went to load it for delivery.

“He could tell it was stolen because the bin became empty a heck of a lot sooner than it should have,” he said. “Obviously he was very dissatisfied with the situation.”

Cattin said the farmer was unable to fulfill the contracted delivery amount because of the theft.

He said Wabash County recently reported stolen grain, but said the two incidents don’t appear to be related.

Anyone with information concerning what deputies have dubbed the “Crime of the Week” should call Miami County Crime Stoppers at 765-472-0868, and could qualify for a $1,000 award if the information leads to an arrest.

Carson Gerber is a Kokomo Tribune reporter. He may be reached at 765-854-6739, or by email at carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com.

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