The task force in charge of investigating agriculture theft has returned more than 2.8 million dollars in its two years of work.

Investigators in the Highway Patrol Rural Crimes Investigative Unit say cattle and copper are the two items stolen most from farmers. Sargent Jason Clark is an investigator with the unit, and he says this task force started two years ago and has been able to curb agriculture theft.

Clark says cattle are the most common livestock stolen, and copper is often stolen too, because both are easy to get rid of quickly, and both are very profitable.

He says cattle theft is very profitable – the average theft can bring in 15 to 18 thousand dollars. He says authorities have to act quickly in those cases because cattle can be moved quickly across state lines or sold to a slaughterhouse, and the victim can’t be compensated for it.

Clark says the best thing farmers can do is to lock up equipment and keep a neighborhood watch.

(AUDIO) Allison Blood reports on agriculture theft Mp3 1:03