Santa Barbara has joined a rural crime prevention network that includes most counties in the Central Coast and San Joaquin Valley. The Sheriff’s Department already has 17 deputies assigned to its rural crime unit, but ACTION (Agriculture Crime Technology, Information, and Operations Network) allows for intercounty collaboration on researching and developing surveillance technology, among other things. The most common crime plaguing ranchers and farmers is the theft of crops, livestock, and metals such as converters and copper wire. Anhydrous ammonia – which is used in manufacturing methamphetamine – is also highly coveted by rural thieves.

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