BERWICK - A local farmer is turning to the public for help in hopes that someone might have information about a four wheeler that was recently stolen from his property.
“It’s really a farm tool. It was kind of my horse, actually. That’s how I got around the farm quickly and efficiently,” said Morse in a phone interview July 10.
“It was a valuable tool on the farm. I don’t go touring with it or anything like that. It’s strictly a farm machine.”
The 2017 Honda 500 Foreman was discovered missing from Morse’s Farm Ltd. on Main Street in Berwick around 5 a.m. July 8. Morse suspects it was stolen two to three hours earlier. It appears as though multiple people worked together to break into the barn it was in and roll the machine out of the building, he said.
Morse is offering a $1,000 cash reward for information that aids in the successful recovery of the wheeler, which has about 1,200 km on it. He is willing to offer a larger sum of cash if someone comes forward with information that leads to the identification of those involved in the theft.
“It’s distressing that people are casing you out and targeting you,” he added, noting that several fence posts were smashed during the theft.
“I’m not saying it was necessarily a personal attack but it’s hard not to take it personally… in that way it’s distressing and… it’s enraging to work as hard as we do to have the things that we have, that we need and that we use daily, be taken from you.”
Kings District RCMP Const. Kelli Gaudet said the theft remains under investigation.
Gaudet noted that there were two other thefts reported on the same date members were called to investigate the incident at Morse’s farm. A 17-year-old male from Somerset is facing charges in relation to a dirt bike stolen in the overnight hours from a property on Thompson Road in Waterville, and reports came in of two bikes and a dirt bike stolen from a local campground at 1:39 p.m. July 8.
Morse’s missing wheeler is red, with black trim and wheels. It was purchased last July for about $9,000 plus tax. There is evidence to suggest that the original ignition switch has been tampered with, Morse said.
“There’s enough things that we have to deal with as farmers. In dealing with growing crops you’re working with, and sometimes against, Mother Nature to try to make sure you have a crop no matter what you’re trying to grow and when you have to battle theft and vandalism along with it…it really compounds the challenges beyond what they should be in our society.”
This is not the first time Morse’s family-run farming operation has been visited by thieves. An older Honda four wheeler was taken in 2010, two farm trucks were stolen in two separate previous incidents and several pieces of valuable equipment has gone missing.
“It’s bothersome for sure,” said Morse
“It’s gone on many times.”
Morse said it is too expensive to have video surveillance spanning his entire property. He hopes spreading word of the latest theft will result in information that leads to the identification of those involved.
“We’re a working farm and we’re just finishing up our strawberry harvest, and we’ve just got lots on the go. We’ve got a lot of hay that we’re making. We’re irrigating our potato crop and getting ready to harvest that in another couple of weeks… we enjoy what we do and we take pride in it and this was upsetting,” he said.
“It’s caused a whole spectrum of thoughts and emotions, but we just have to keep on moving, going forward.”