Article by: Hari Yellina
Even when those impacted are insured, a theft nevertheless causes inconvenience to the victim, as three vignerons in the Barossa are currently experiencing. Rural crime had not greatly increased over the previous year and did not seem to be on the rise, according to a spokesperson for the SA Police. But for winegrowers WS&KA Rohrlach, Light Pass is the most recent vineyard to experience theft. Corey Rohrlach reported that on June 28, 16 brass ball valves were taken from his parents’ 28-hectare farm, which he works on. He said, “I think the robbers knew the taps were there. “Because two of my neighbours were also victims, they either worked on our property or the neighbours’. “They were able to jump from vineyard to vineyard using all 33 valves.
Eight two-inch and eight one-inch valves were stolen from our property by the robbers. According to him, one of the valves caused the family to run out of SA mains water for roughly six hours. “The firm will have to spend $1500 in parts alone to fix the valves plus an hour’s worth of labour for each valve they damaged,” he stated. We worry that there is damage underground that we cannot see because they used an axe to bash out the valves. Police were still holding the taps, according to Mr. Rohrlach, for use as evidence in court.
We’ll just replace them ourselves and file an insurance claim because it will take too long to get them back, he said. The police’s only suggestion was to fence the vineyard, which is not practical. He claimed that having to find the time to repair the valves as a result of other people’s activities was aggravating. A spokeswoman for the SA Police confirmed that three wineries had reported their taps taken. According to the police, “residents should make personal property/farm equipment/power tools clearly identifiable and retain records of such (including serial numbers and images when available) to assist police with investigations should they become the victim of such an offence.” Security cameras that can capture video, especially in dim light, are also quite useful.