What to do about neighbors stealing?

This is a repost blog.

Original posts by behricane on subreddit r/farming on Reddit

4 Mar 2017: What to do about neighbors stealing?

I have run into a bit of a problem and thought I would pick your collective brain!

My wife and I bought a farm a few years ago and then ended up with some surprise kids. So, the farm has been mostly sitting while I watch squirts grow up. We are making hay and that is about it.

Well, today I had some beautiful weather (and no kids). So, I took a ride about the property and discovered one of my newish gates in the back was missing.

I looked around for a bit and found, what I suspect to be, my gate about 200 feet away on my neighbors property. Same brand, same size, same color, and the same amount of wear as my other gates. Furthermore, it was sitting loose (not hung) in the gateway on my neighbors property.
Now, I don’t know this guy all that well. From what I understand he has a good reputation in the community. The reality is that I can’t prove he has my gate.

So, other farming folks of reddit, how should I respond to this? My wife and I are new to this and are at a bit of a loss. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

EDIT: Thanks for all the advice! I will post an update after we get things sorted.

5 Mar 2017: What to do when you are wrong about neighbors stealing - update

Hi r/farming!

So, you all that suggested my neighbor wasn’t a crook, and told me to be polite, were correct.

I had mentioned I needed to talk with him about some fence work. It turns out what happened was that the fence on my side had finally given out and the cows were just walking over it into my hay field. The closest thing available to block off that field was my gate.

So, he used my gate to keep his cows out of my hay field because the fence on my side is garbage.

You win this round nice neighbor.

Thank you all again for the advice! We will be marking up our gates/equipment in the future and the fence issues should resolve themselves with the big fencing push we are doing this year.


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September 13, 2023