Nova Scotia farmer offers bacon for tips leading to thief or stolen tools
Moo Nay Farms owner Melvin Burns is also offering work to the thieves if they come clean
After a free-range animal farm in Nova Scotia was hit twice by thieves this summer, the owner is taking unorthodox steps to stop the stealing.
Melvin Burns, of Moo Nay Farms, is offering a reward of five pounds (2.2 kg) of his best Berkshire bacon for tips leading to the person who took his power tools, or the return of them — valued at $1000.
And to that power-tool thief — or the culprit who made off with $5,000 worth of pigs, piglets and hens in late June— Burns is offering a job if they come clean.
"I was offering the people that stole them an opportunity to return them and help out out here on the farm," he said in an interview with CBC News from his farm in Cooks Brook near Shubenacadie.
The offer of work also goes to anyone who's tempted to resort to crime to get by, he said.
'We could find them something to do'
"If they needed money that badly, we could find them something to do and help them out."
The unusual offer — a job in return for admitting to a crime, and bacon in exchange for leads — was made in a Facebook post on Wednesday.
Burns discovered the tools were missing when a worker came by to help him build a horse shelter. He waited a few days before putting the message on social media in the hopes that the tools would turn up.
He said he doesn't think his operation is being targeted because he's learned about a rash of other recent thefts.
The crimes are a sign that something is amiss, he said, and is best addressed through employment.
"Offer your labour, offer your time constructively," he said on Facebook. "It can earn you money, respect and a future in the community as opposed to [life] behind bars."
Moo Nay Farms supplies several Halifax-area restaurants with beef and pork from pasture-raised animals. After the theft of the livestock, some businesses pitched in with a fundraiser to help offset his losses. A friend also started a GoFundMe campaign.
"All those things help. Even people messaging saying "Hey, I drove by your home, you know, and stopped in, everything looked fine."
After the two thefts, the thought crossed his mind about throwing in the towel, he said.
No bacon sliced yet
But for him, "the answer to some of the stealing and the thefts of society" is right down on the farm.
"Getting back to the roots, farming, and offering some young people the opportunities on a farm to learn and to work," said Burns.
As for the offer of bacon for leads, "I haven't sliced any bacon yet for anybody. I haven't got any tools returned. "