Sometimes it's just not worth it for the 'gram.
Watch where you step for the 'gram, folks! While on the hunt for the perfect snap, groups of people were caught on camera trespassing among a bright yellow-green canola field in central Ontario, and Ontario Provincial Police said they might have potentially caused $2,000 of crop damage.
In a news release, OPP said they're seeing a rise in trespassing as people stop along the side of Highway 10 in Melancthon Township to take photos in a canola field. The rural township is about an hour's drive north of Toronto.
In two incidents, officers with the Dufferin detachment said people were found taking photos in the fields over the Canada Day long weekend. Police said that the rise in agricultural trespassing in Dufferin County is "culminating in a serious instance being shared on social media."
"It is a fairly large issue," Provincial Constable Jennifer Roach told Narcity. "It's just that since COVID, we're now seeing an increase in more people out and about looking for alternative things to do. Last year, it was sunflowers in the fall, and this year, it seems to be canola."
While the potential crop damage is estimated at $2,000, police say that's only for 1 acre. So, imagine the damage to a larger area — yikes!
\u201c#DufferinOPP was made aware of two instances of trespassing in @MelancthonTwp this wknd. \nIt is NOT a right to enter a field to get a perfect photo. \nCrop damage approx = $2\ufe0f\u20e30\ufe0f\u20e30\ufe0f\u20e30\ufe0f\u20e3\nPhone calls to police = 0\ufe0f\u20e3\nPlease call 1 888 310-1122 right away if you see this. ^jr\u201d— OPP Central Region (@OPP Central Region) 1656962540
"It is NOT a right to enter a field to get a perfect photo. Crop damage approx = $2000. Phone calls to police = 0," warned the police service in a tweet.
"Fields don't require signage or fencing. If you enter a field uninvited, it is trespassing. If you cause damage, you could be charged criminally," a follow-up tweet by the OPP Central Region reads.
Police warn that trespassers can be charged under the Trespass to Property Act. If there is any damage to crops, folks could also receive a mischief charge under the Criminal Code of Canada.
"The problem we face with agricultural trespassing is a lot of the times people have gone in, done the damage and by the time that the farmer actually gets there to take a look, there's no timeline, there's no suspects, and there's no compensation for that farmer and what they've lost," concluded Roach.
While the Canada Day weekend trespassing incidents were captured by a photo shared to a local Facebook group, provincial police said that they did not receive a timely phone call about it.
The police service is advising the public to call 1-888-310-1122 about such incidents. So, you might want to make sure you're not breaking any laws before you hop a fence just to get that perfect Instagram shot!
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
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