FAYETTE — Police are investigating the theft of more than 150 bales of hay from a Moose Hill Road barn Tuesday night.
Maine State Police Trooper Dane Wing said between 150 and 200 square bales were taken from the barn at 129 Moose Hill Road sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
The hay had been set aside earlier this year to feed three horses kept at the barn, Wing said.
Roxanne Turner, whose parents own the barn, said she discovered the theft Wednesday morning when she went to feed the horses. Turner said the theft occurred as her parents slept in the nearby house.
“To have them drive up knowing Mom and Dad are sleeping makes us nervous,” she said.
Turner said the family is already taking steps to add security to the property.
She theorized the burglars may be familiar with the family because they knew where to find the hay. She said it would take as little as 30 minutes to load the hay onto a trailer. The thieves left about three of the eight tiers Turner and her husband had stacked for the horses.
“You put hay up for your animals,” she said. “That’s your job.”
Turner’s first thought was that someone stole the hay for their own animals, but she’s now convinced the hay will be sold. She said the demand for hay in other parts of the country is high right now because of the drought this summer.
“We had a pretty good hay season, but with the way the rest of the country is the prices are high,” Turner said.
“I have a feeling I’m probably going to be one of many” theft victims, she added.
Turner estimated the value of the stolen hay, bought the hay from a nearby farmer for $3.10 per bale, was between $465 and $620. Bales are generally about $4 each right now, Turner said. She expects that to rise to $6 or more by spring.
Turner said she and her husband buy about 800 bales of hay each year, an average of 200 per horse and an extra 200 as a precaution. That extra hay often goes to others who run short.
“Fortunately I have another barn with hay in it,” she said. “I wasn’t supposed to hit that barn until January.”
Wing asked anyone with information about the theft to call Maine State Police at 624-7076.
Craig Crosby — 621-5642