Landowners beware of timber thieves

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NASHVILLE (WDEF) – You’ve heard of the rising problem of catalytic converter thefts.

Now Tennessee officials warn about the problem of timber thefts, for a similar reason.

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They say that timber prices are rising, especially for specific species of wood.

“We’ve had reports of oak trees, poplar, and some hickory stolen in Middle and East Tennessee,” Agricultural Crime Unit Special Agent LaLonna Kuehn said.

State officials say you can lose twice… once for the value of the timber and again for the damage that thieves can do to your property.

Here is what you can do to protect your property:

— mark property boundaries so no one “mistakenly” gets your timber when they are cutting a neighbor’s property.

— create an action plan… giving law enforcement your contact info.

— share your action plan with your neighbors in case they see harvesting on your property.

— make a timber inventory of your land with an estimated value.

— consult with foresters about how to mark property lines and trees if you are going to sell them off.

Contact the Division of Forestry for details.

Kuehen adds “One of the best ways to prevent this crime is to let your neighbors know if you will be removing timber from your property. If they haven’t heard from you and see harvesting, they should contact you or law enforcement immediately.”

You can report timber thefts online or contact your local law enforcement.