Reporting of stock theft
The time lapse from the discovery to the reporting of stock theft must be as short as possible. Th is will help to facilitate a satisfactory solution to the case.
Stock owners must report all cases of stock theft to the local police station without delay. The local police station will open a docket, register it on the crime administration system (CAS) and assign a CAS number to the case. The CAS number is then sent to the complainant as a text message. Th is number must be used in all future references and queries. As soon as the complaint is registered on the CAS, the local police station must inform the stock theft detective on standby telephonically of the complaint and also provide the contact details of the complainant.
On arrival at the crime scene the investigating officer must first of all secure the scene. The scene must be assessed and all possible evidence such as footprints, fingerprints and blood samples preserved. The police officer will take a statement from the complainant (see 3.4).
The investigating officer will request a detailed description of the stolen stock as well as the relevant identification marks in accordance with the Animal Identification Act. The stock owner must thus ensure all animals are marked and records are up-to date. Stock owners are often unable to give a full description of missing animals, and in such cases it is difficult for the SAPS to circulate descriptions of stolen animals.
Take note of all details at the crime scene and convey it to the investigating officer. Do not hesitate to provide all information and observations to the police.
The necessity of a comprehensive stock register cannot be overemphasised. Keep a stock register up to date and confirm the numbers regularly. This also holds for workers’ animals. A comprehensive stock register serves as proof to the magistrate of the stock owner’s control over the stock and his awareness of everything transpiring on the farm.