Surveillance beef-up urged as rural crime hurts hip pocket

Surveillance beef-up urged as rural crime hurts hip pocket


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INVASION: Gippsland resident Dominic Bromilow is victim of two on-farm burglaries after crooks cut up fallen logs across disused tracks to access his property.

INVASION: Gippsland resident Dominic Bromilow is victim of two on-farm burglaries after crooks cut up fallen logs across disused tracks to access his property.

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Victorian farmers are being urged to to increase on-farm surveillance.

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A microbiologist is urging landowners to invest in security infrastructure after he was burgled twice in two months.

Dominic Bromilow had thousands of dollars of equipment stolen from his property, 35 kilometres north of Warragul in west Gippsland, and is urging farmers across the state to "get serious" about protecting their properties.

"I had a galvanized trailer taken, a compressor and then in the second robbery I had $2000 worth of mud tyres taken and a power take-off post hole digger and auger," Mr Bromilow said.

"I'm quite angry because basically I've spent a lot of time really working hard to make my property work and people just come in and take what they want."

SURVEILLANCE: Landowners are being urged in invest in covert and overt security cameras to deter on-farm thefts.

SURVEILLANCE: Landowners are being urged in invest in covert and overt security cameras to deter on-farm thefts.

Located about an hour from Mount Baw Baw, Mr Bromilow said the area had become a hot spot for "out-of-towners" and hunters who had illegally accessed his property to shoot wild deer.

"It's disturbing to wake up and find people have been in your property and around your house and gone to a lot of effort to ... take stuff out of your sheds," he said.

"We don't know where it's [ending up] whether it's being sold at local markets, up on Gumtree or being moved around as part of debts."

In recent months, the Neerim Junction resident has invested in a range of surveillance equipment in an attempt to protect his land and deter crooks from entering his block.

"I've got a number of cameras and I move them around my property," he said.

"Have cameras on tap and if you can, have an internet-based camera that gives you notifications if anyone comes onto your property."

Victoria Police agricultural liaison officer Senior Sergeant Jason Hullick, who oversees five local government areas in south, central and west Gippsland, said on-farm thefts was an ongoing concern for investigators.

He said it was important farmers reported thefts as many incidents went unreported.

"We find that generally farming properties are a soft target for criminals," Senior Sergeant Hullick said.

Among the most stolen items, police said motorbikes and side-by-sides were common, urging owners to take photos and a good description of the equipment in the event they were nicked.

"Farmers need to record their VIN numbers, some are registered and some aren't, so even take a photograph on your phone and store it on your computer or write it down," he said.

"We encourage people to invest in security cameras and surveillance like that, because in the past when we've attended properties like Dominic's we've been able to get images of the people on his property."

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