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Rural crime a growing concern

A GPS display unit shown inside a combine last fall / CIFN photo.

PONTIAC – The rural area is no stranger to crime as several local farmers realized at the start of the last harvest season.

A group moving through the state stole GPS globes from machinery parked on farms.

“Our detectives figured out who those people were,” explained Livingston County Sheriff Ryan Bohm. “We’ve got some warrants and we are trying to track them down to get them taken into custody.”

This crime ring in the early fall of 2022 impacted many police jurisdictions around Illinois and other locations.

Sheriff Bohm feels rural crime seems to happen in spurts – with several residential burglaries over the years.

“We get groups that travel the area.”

Catalytic converter thefts are among current issues police are dealing with. This is typically a large scale group operating in a big area.

If someone comes to your door you are not familiar with, homeowners are advised to call the police.

“We will verify if they are who they say they are for you,” said Bohm.

Anyone feeling uncomfortable with someone outside knocking on the door or ringing the doorbell should not open the door. Also, when leaving on vacation, wait to post any pictures on social media until you return home.

“You don’t want everybody knowing you are gone,” added Bohm.

Rural drug crimes is an ongoing issue as police departments are trying to control it the best they can. This can be difficult to monitor especially since so many major highways and interstates pass through the area.


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