Thief steals a hill of beans in Jo Daviess County - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Thief steals a hill of beans in Jo Daviess County

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Matthew Schuster realized over the weekend that someone stole 18 acres of soybeans from his field. Matthew Schuster realized over the weekend that someone stole 18 acres of soybeans from his field.
EAST DUBUQUE, Ill. (KWWL) -

A local farmer says he's out more than $18,000 after someone combined 18 acres of his crops in Jo Daviess County.

Matthew Schuster is a Dubuque-area farmer who also has land he rents in Jo Daviess County, Illinois, for crops. He said over the weekend he went to check on his soybean crop and noticed 18 acres had been harvested.

"They flat-out came into the wrong field and flat-out stole these beans," said Schuster.

Schuster said he estimates the crops were worth more than $18,000. He said he is lucky that he has insurance to cover the losses.

The plot of land is located on Parklane Drive near East Dubuque High School. He said it's located in a residential neighborhood and neighbors in the area did, in fact, see who harvested his crop.

"We're looking for a small John Deere combine with a 13-foot grain head on it, or a 15-foot grain head, and we're looking for pick-ups with red and white wagons," said Schuster.

Schuster said he's hopeful the farmer in question just harvested his crops on accident.

"I'm asking you, if (you're) the farmer (who) got the wrong field, please come find me," said Schuster.

Officials with the Iowa Farm Bureau said they've never heard of someone combining someone else's crops. They said they've heard of people stealing other farmers' livestock since the price of livestock has gotten higher, but never crops.

Schuster said he wants to remind all farmers and neighbors to keep an eye out on nearby crops.

"If it's a semi, greens cart or a different combine, take a minute and see if it's the renter or the farmer that is supposed to be farming on the farm," Schuster said. "It only takes 5 minutes to be a friendly neighbor."

The Jo Daviess County Sheriff's Department is investigating the incident. In both the states of Iowa and Illinois, stealing crops is a felony.

Schuster told me he's offering a $1,000 reward for anyone who has any information about what happened to his crops.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Jo Daviess County Sheriff's Office.

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