It's hot!

Agriculture.com Staff 04/06/2010 @ 9:55am

Most farm equipment doesn't come with a title that can be transferred from owner to owner, which makes it easy for thieves to unload it on unsuspecting buyers. There are steps you can take to avoid ending up with hot machinery.

Buy from a respected source. "I always buy from a reputable person because if something goes wrong, I have someone to go back on. If I'm not familiar with the person, I check them out. If I don't, I'm going to get into trouble sooner or later," says Bill Hennessey, Hennessey Implement of Dodgeville, Wisconsin.

"If people find they have a stolen item in their possession, they are required to contact law enforcement. In Kansas, a person can be charged with a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the value of the item, if they are knowingly in possession of stolen items," says Deputy Travis Clinesmith, Sedgwick county sheriff's office in Kansas. He notes, however, that as long as people are not knowingly in possession and do report it, they have done nothing wrong.

Get a bill of sale. No matter who you buy a piece of equipment from, both Hennessey and Clinesmith say to make sure you get a bill of sale.

Call 911. "If there are any suspicions, call 911 and ask to speak with a deputy or officer," says Clinesmith. "If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is." Hennessey says it's a red flag if sellers want to cash the check immediately rather than waiting to cash it at their bank. "I always tell them to run it through their own bank first. If they don't want to do that, there's something wrong," he says.

Most farm equipment doesn't come with a title that can be transferred from owner to owner, which makes it easy for thieves to unload it on unsuspecting buyers. There are steps you can take to avoid ending up with hot machinery.

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