Ranchers secure relief after property damage
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SMUGGLER PURSUITS END ON PRIVATE LAND; FENCES WRECKED BY FUGITIVES
In a period of increased human smuggling through South Texas and area ranches repeatedly sustaining damage in incidents involving high-speed chases, one local landowner has taken advantage of a reimbursement program offered by the Frio County Sheriff’s Office.
Earlier this year, commissioners approved a policy that allows the sheriff’s office to assist Frio County farm and ranch property owners who were subject to undue financial burdens by vehicle pursuits.
Under the policy, if a pursuit is initiated by a Frio County sheriff’s deputy and results in damaged property and the vehicle involved in the pursuit is recovered, the landowner may be eligible for compensation.
“Should said vehicle become abandoned according to the Texas Transportation Code 683 and auctioned off at a public auction, any tow fees and administrative fees owed shall be recovered by the sheriff’s office prior to any funds being dispersed to private Frio County property owners,” the policy reads.
Chief Deputy Peter Salinas said monies earned from the auction sale may be used to reimburse qualifying land owners.
Commissioners approved the first request for reimbursement submitted by the Allen Ranch on Tuesday, December 13.
“This is the very first reimbursement request,” Salinas said. “The total amount is $454.96, which is under the one thousand dollar maximum amount we talked about.”
To be considered for funding, the property owner should report the request to the sheriff within 20 days of the incident. The request must include the incident date, time, location, description of damaged property and the cost of total repairs; requests will be verified by a review of the initial report documented by sheriff’s deputies.
According to the policy, should multiple property owners suffer damages created by the same recovered vehicle within a 24-hour period, the total amount collected may be split equally among the multiple claimants.