A Tennessee hemp farmer chased thieves carrying off his hemp in a scene that could be straight out of a movie, Fox 17 Nashville reports.
Before the confrontation, farmer Tracy Lehman had noticed some few plants missing but didn’t think much of it. Last Friday, however, Lehman realized he was missing twenty plants and grew concerned.
“Obviously on high alert, I’m thinking, ‘I got to see what’s going on here,’” said Lehman. Lehman installed surveillance cameras to determine just what was happening to his hemp.
Monday morning, Lehman noticed a gray car circling his house. Shortly after, a truck pulled into his field. Lehman realized what was happening and jumped into his own truck. The thieves took off and Lehman gave chase.
“We got a little ways down the road and we were sideways, going 80 mph going down this country road,” said Lehman. The passenger in the thieves’ car pulled a pistol and fired eight or ten shots off at Lehman.
Lehman was forced to back off and lost the thieves. Once police arrived at the farm, Lehman looked through his surveillance footage of the thieves in an effort to identify them. Both police and the farmer were shocked to see the men had been carrying assault rifles. “I didn’t expect to see that,” Lehman said. “We all did a double-take.”
It’s unclear if the thieves were aware that industrial hemp contains little to no THC. “We get tested by the state. So if it’s over 0.3, the crop gets destroyed on the spot.”
Lehman hasn’t backed down. The farmer has tracked people prowling around his farm two other times this week. He now employs an armed guard 24 hours per day.