Ranchers still face old-fashioned foes like cattle rustlers and tractor thieves, but authorities are concerned farmers don't report thefts of the costly hormone vials because they're worried their insurance premiums could rise or because they shouldn't bother the police.
Yoshimoto said he did not know if farmers wanted to avoid drawing attention to their hormone use, given the stigma among some customers.
"There's probably dairymen getting hit and not reporting it," Sgt. Tom Sigley of the Tulare County Sheriff's Agricultural Crimes Unit. "It's expensive, so when it's stolen it's a high-dollar loss."
On the Net:
Agricultural Crime Technology Information and Operations Network: http://www.agcrime.net