COOKS BROOK, N.S. — After two major thefts within two months at his free-range animal farm, Melvin Burns is hoping people's taste for bacon can help solve the crimes.
In an appeal posted on Facebook, the owner of Moo Nay Farms in Cooks Brook, N.S., is offering a reward of just over two kilograms of bacon for tips leading to the culprit who recently took about $1,000 worth of power tools.
In an interview, Burns said the farm, located about an hour northeast of Halifax, was also hit in June when someone stole a number of pigs and hens from his property.
He said he really doesn't know what made him come up with such an unorthodox appeal.
Offered work, job training to thief
"I don't really know what made me think of it, just that's what we have to offer and that (bacon) is one of the most beloved products from our farm," Burns said.
The stolen tools include an 18 volt driver and charger, a 20 volt driver, a grinder, two 20 volt chargers, and a 20 volt drill, all made by DeWalt. Also pilfered was a Mastercraft socket set.
"We work hard to keep our animals alive and safe, these tools help us do that ... please consider our animals, their fences, shelters and all the things we need these tools for," Burns's post reads.
He is also holding up the offer of some work around the farm or training for anyone who owns up to the thefts.
"It's just the offer of some skills so they can actually get a job and do some work, as opposed to feeling that they need to steal to survive."
Burns said while there have been no takers for his offer so far, there is also a broader message about "looking out for one another" that he hopes to convey to the surrounding community.
"Get to know your neighbours," he said. "Offer to stop by and keep an eye out on your neighbour's property."
Burns said that has actually happened since he posted to Facebook — neighbours did let him know that they checked in on his property during a short period where he was recently away.
I just want it (thievery) to stop for the community and I want it to stop for me.
Burns said he doesn't believe his farm is being targeted because he's learned of a rash of recent thefts in the area.
In the earlier theft, Burns lost six Berkshire pigs and 40 chickens. He also found the remains of a butchered pig on a plastic sheet at the edge of the 60-acre farm.
"I don't feel anger towards people," said Burns. "I just want it (thievery) to stop for the community and I want it to stop for me."
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