‘Night farmers’ stealing into the thousands

  • Not happy: Tom Wadson is concerned with the increasing number of “night farmers” stealing vast amounts of produce and ruining his crops in the process(Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Not happy: Tom Wadson is concerned with the increasing number of “night farmers” stealing vast amounts of produce and ruining his crops in the process(Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

  • Roland Hill, owner of J&J Produce, is concerned with the increasing number of night farmers stealing and ruining his crops (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Roland Hill, owner of J&J Produce, is concerned with the increasing number of night farmers stealing and ruining his crops (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

  • Tom Wadson, the owner of Wadson’s farm in Southampton. (Photograph supplied)

    Tom Wadson, the owner of Wadson’s farm in Southampton. (Photograph supplied)

  • Tom Wadson is concerned with the increasing number of night farmers stealing and ruining his crops (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Tom Wadson is concerned with the increasing number of night farmers stealing and ruining his crops (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)


Thefts from farms have increased since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, farmers confirmed on Tuesday.

Rowland Hill Jr, the owner of J&J Produce in Devonshire, said his operation had suffered from “night farmers” for several years and the problem had worsened since the pandemic hit in March.

He said thieves stole about $2,000 worth of produce a week and that he had caught a repeat offender yesterday.

Mr Hill said: “I try to give people a chance — three weeks ago the police had him in custody and I didn’t press charges because I wanted to give him a chance.”

However, he added that, despite his act of kindness, he later saw the same man at his farm and had to chase him off. Mr Hill was speaking after Walter Roban, the home affairs minister, told the House of Assembly last Friday that officials had noticed a spike in thefts from farmers’ fields.

He warned that the ministry planned to ramp up their oversight of agricultural land to deter raiders.

But Mr Hill said that it was “almost impossible” to police all of the farms on the island.

He added: “There are over 550 fields in Bermuda — they can’t be everywhere.”

Mr Hill said that many of the thieves who targeted farms stole to pay for a drug habit.

He added that rehabilitation programmes had to get involved to make a difference.

Mr Hill said: “There’s no easy solution, but if there’s something that could be done it’d be through drug programmes.”

He added: “I understand there’s a problem and that people can’t eat, but if you can’t eat, just call me.

“If you’re stealing to support a drug habit that’s where I have a problem.”

Tom Wadson, the owner of Wadson Farms in Southampton, said that he had seen an increase in thefts around March, but added that the problem had been “out of control” since December last year. He said: “People have gotten bored and they think it’s a total struggle to go to the grocery store.

“There are some people who are bored, but there are also people who have to steal to support an expensive drug habit.” Mr Wadson said that many crops were at present in season, which presented a tempting target for raiders.

He added that thieves found farmers easy to exploit because their produce was out in the open.

Mr Wadson said: “A friend of mine has a crop of tomatoes growing and as soon as people see them coming in they think that it’s fair game, but it’s not — that’s that man’s property.”

Mr Wadson said that he was willing to supply quality soil to people interested in growing their own vegetables.

But he added that he could not tolerate theft.

Mr Wadson said: “Farmers are very open — there’s a few things that sometimes we can spare and give away — but we can’t have people coming on to the farm.”

Police did not respond to a request for comment.

You must be registered or signed-in to post comment or to vote.

Published May 28, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated May 28, 2020 at 1:43 pm)

‘Night farmers’ stealing into the thousands

What you
Need to
Know
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon

  • Take Our Poll

    • "Where is institutional racism in Bermuda most prevalent?"
    • Criminal justice system
    • 16%
    • Education
    • 23%
    • Employment opportunities
    • 39%
    • Healthcare
    • 3%
    • Housing
    • 5%
    • Income
    • 14%
    • Total Votes: 4776
    • Poll Archive

    Today's Obituaries

    eMoo Posts