Rural Missouri task force recovers $2.5 million from thefts

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 | 6:52 a.m. CDT; updated 9:37 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, March 16, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY — A task force focused on rural Missouri crime has recovered more than $2.5 million worth of stolen property in the past year and a half.

The state Department of Agriculture says the task force has investigated 815 rural crimes since August 2009 and made 162 arrests.

The task force investigates rural property damage, arson, burglaries and thefts of such things as equipment, fuel, livestock, chemicals and metal.

Former Gov. Matt Blunt created a cattle theft task force in February 2006. It was broadened by Gov. Jay Nixon in August 2009 to include more rural crimes.

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