INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A hemp farm on the city’s northwest side moved its operations to an undisclosed location after a string of crop thefts.
The latest incident at Lineage Hemp Farm, previously located at Marsh Road and West 78th Street, led to two arrests Tuesday night.
Dayshawn Mumford, 21, and Alyssia Clark, 19, face preliminary charges of criminal mischief, theft, criminal trespass and resisting law enforcement, according to a police report obtained by News 8.
Officers were dispatched to the farm around 7:30 p.m. and observed six people stealing crops, police said.
The suspects fled; two were apprehended and four remained at large Wednesday night. Authorities did not provide suspect descriptions.
At least three hemp theft incidents were reported at Lineage Hemp Farm in October, according to police reports.
Hemp farmers and advocates blamed a rise in local hemp thefts on “widespread misinformation,” noting culprits often confused hemp with marijuana.
“A lot of these theft and trespassing incidents have occurred with the younger generation, [including] college-aged students [mistakenly] looking to take advantage of the plant for its psychoactive properties, which — in hemp — is not there,” said Justin Swanson, president of the Midwest Hemp Council. “They’re going to be very disappointed if that’s the reason they’re getting in the field.”
“Hemp” refers to varieties of Cannabis that contain 0.3% or less THC content by dry weight — not enough to produce the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana.
Swanson compared hemp theft to livestock theft, and urged would-be criminals to reconsider targeting local farmers’ livelihood.
“This is no different than going into a cattle farm and stealing a bunch of cattle from a cattle farmer,” he said.
Authorities declined to release booking photos of Mumford and Clark due to their ongoing investigation.
Anybody with information about the remaining suspects is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.