Iowa Public Television


Illinois Gets Tough on Farm Vandalism

posted on August 12, 2005

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is sending a message to anyone who might think it's fun to mess with a farmer's combine or ramrod through cornfields on an all-terrain vehicle: Don't even think about it.

The governor signed two bills this week aimed at stopping vandalism on farms. Both laws took effect immediately.

One law stiffens the penalty for trespassing on farms, doubling the potential jail time from six months to one year, and boosting the maximum fine to $2,500. It also increases criminal damage to equipment or farm structures, such as grain bins or barns, from a misdemeanor to a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

The other law holds trespassers liable in civil court for damage they cause to farm property with a motor vehicle. If the driver is younger than 16, both the owner of the vehicle and the parent or guardian of the minor could be held liable.

Tags: agriculture Illinois news