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05-25-04 Thieves haul away about 250 pigs from Mercer County farm

By Margie Wuebker

  Unlike the little pig that went to market and the little pig that stayed home, 200 to 250 pigs in the process of packing on pounds apparently took an unauthorized ride in somebody's stock truck over the weekend.

  The Mercer County Sheriff's Office responded to a swine operation located in the 9000 block of Hayes Road after receiving a call that someone stole the swine valued at $30,000.
  Timothy W. Brandt, manager of Brandt Farms, 6707 Brown Road, Versailles, notified the sheriff's office of the alleged theft at 11:45 p.m. Sunday.
  The Brandt family reportedly leases the Center Township property, located northeast of Celina, to house a fattening operation.
  Deputies believe the pigs were taken late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. A neighbor reported seeing an unfamiliar truck parked near the barn around that time, according to sheriff's reports.  A search of the building revealed empty pens but no sign of forced entry.
  Weaned pigs are brought to fattening operations like the one Brandt Farms maintains on Hayes Road. The animals remain at the facility until they reach ideal market weights of 200 to 220 pounds.
  The sheriff's report did not indicate the size of the animals taken or whether the culprit left any pigs behind. Attempts to contact representatives of Brandt Farms were unsuccessful.
  The incident remains under investigation.


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