Police investigate vandalism on cotton bales at Kiacatoo

After wrapping up what has been a difficult wet harvest, a cotton crop worth $1.3 million has been targeted by a "senseless" act of vandalism in the state's central west.

The NSW Rural Crime Prevention team is investing the vandalism to numerous cotton bales at Kiacatoo on the Lachlan Valley Way between Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo. Police posted on Facebook that between 10pm on June 22 and 7am on June 23, a cotton producer at Kiacatoo was targeted and more than 370 large round bales of harvested cotton damaged by the wrap being cut and the cotton exposed.

The cutting of the bales caused the harvested cotton to become exposed to the elements and the farmer is in the process of recovering the cotton, the post stated.

"The bulk of the cotton will hopefully be recoverable, which has a collective value of approximately $1.3 million," the post said.

State Rural Crime coordinator detective chief inspector Cameron Whiteside said the 'senseless" act had come at a time when many farmers had finished harvesting.

"The cotton was ready to go ... only to have this happen, is devastating," detective Whiteside told The Land. "The level of destruction is nothing but senseless. Luckily a lot of this is recoverable, but a lot of effort goes into recovering this product and it's dependable on the elements."

Detective Whiteside said he was determined to bring this investigation to a positive end.

"We are determined to catch those responsible and we would like anyone that knows anything about this senseless crime to come forward and speck to police. If you know or saw something, please say something," detective Whiteside said. "Rural crimes are often committed in isolated areas which makes unusual acts, unknown visitors and vehicles standout."

Rural crime investigators, assisted by forensic officers and local police, have attended the scene and the investigation has been ongoing since it was reported last week.

If you know anything about this crime and want to help this farmer, please contact your local police, Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or the Rural Crime Prevention Team at Parkes Police Station on 68 629 977.


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