By HARRY CLARKE

THE rural crime squad in NSW is investigating what police described as a “significant and senseless act of vandalism” to hundreds of cotton bales at a property near Condobolin.

Overnight between June 22 and June 23 a cotton producer at Kiacatoo was targeted when over 370 large round bales of harvested cotton was damaged by the wrap being cut.

The “malicious” act of vandalism caused the cotton to become exposed to the elements.

The farmer, whose property is on the Lachlan Valley Way between Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo, is currently in the process of trying to salvage as much of the produce as possible. It has a collective value of about $1.3 million.

NSW Rural Crime Investigators, assisted by forensic officers and local police, attended the scene and the investigation has been ongoing since it was reported last week.

State Rural Crime Coordinator Detective Chief Inspector Cameron Whiteside said officers were determined to catch the culprit.

“We are determined to catch those responsible and we would like anyone that knows anything about this senseless crime to come forward and speak to police. If you know or saw something, please say something,” Whiteside said.

He said people often didn’t come forward as they believed that what they saw or heard was of no value to police, but he stressed “that could not be further from the truth”.

“Rural crimes are often committed in isolated areas which makes unusual acts, unknown visitors and vehicles standout,” he said.

Police are urging anyone who can assist the investigation to contact local police, Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or the Rural Crime Prevention Team at Parkes Police Station on 02 68629977.

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