Sam Mumford is “incredibly hurt” and upset. Since December, ewes and lambs worth $45,000 have been stolen from his Parndana property.
“We’ve taken a hit. I’m disappointed. I thought people thought better of me than that,” Mr Mumford said.
The 179 ewes and 60 lambs went missing in batches of about 50 at a time between December and April from his 1300-strong flock.
Mr Mumford reported the theft to police in mid-April after thoroughly checking fences and all corners of his paddocks and speaking to neighbours, several of whom also suspect theft. He has also installed night-vision security cameras at his property.
Insurance will only pay $5000 a year on any one stock theft claim so Mr Mumford and wife Helen are well out of pocket. “They were bloody good sheep and I won’t be able to replace them,” Mr Mumford said.
He urged others to report stock theft. “Unless it’s reported nothing can be done.”
Operation Poach has become involved and has searched properties and trucks leaving the island as part of a wider crackdown on stock theft.
Detective Brevet Sergeant Mark Williams said the Mumford theft was the first one of its size that the taskforce had investigated on Kangaroo Island.
“It would take some knowledge of paddocks and movements to execute a theft like this. We’re keen to speak to anyone with information, such as farmers having more stock than they should or irregular stock movements,” Sgt Williams said.