Authorities arrested two Hispanic males for stealing $30,000 of hay from a farm to sell on a burgeoning black market. The stolen hay belonged to wealthy socialite Lois Colley who owned a horse ranch.
The 83-year-old Colley was murdered in Nov., 2015. The theft was uncovered during the homicide investigation.
Suspects Angel Parra Penafiel, 34, and Hugo Ramirez-Morales, 34, worked for Colley and her McDonald’s-franchise-mogul husband, according to the New York Post.
• The pretense of importing Hispanics to assume low-wage jobs is naive. Native American fail to grasp the concept that importing a people group includes importing their culture.
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The murder of Westchester socialite Lois Colley has revealed a booming black market in her rural area — for hay.
Two workers at her sprawling North Salem farm were arrested by State Police for stealing about $30,000 worth of the horse feed and reselling it while working for Colley, cops said Wednesday.
Angel Parra Penafiel, 34, and Hugo Ramirez-Morales, 34, snatched the hay over three years while working for the 83-year-old woman and her McDonald’s-franchise-mogul husband, cops said.
Cops uncovered the scheme while investigating the Nov. 9 murder — and the farmhands are now being questioned for information that authorities hope will lead to the killer, according to a police source.
The men are not considered suspects in the slaying.
It’s the latest twist in a case that has baffled cops and residents of the wealthy town, where Colley was pummeled to death in a laundry room of her sprawling estate.
Investigators have questioned Colley’s former and current staffers, including those who may be linked to the crop crooks, police said.
In New York, hay can be sold at upstate auctions for up to $150 per bale, farming experts said. Unlike livestock, farmers don’t tend to tag or brand hay, making it difficult for police to tell when it has been stolen, said Brian Waddingham, who runs a farming coalition in Iowa, where hay theft is rampant.
“I can see why it’s attractive to a thief in New York. Anyone can load hay onto a truck in 20 minutes, drive it 50 miles and sell it at an auction — and nobody can prove it’s not theirs,” he said.
Hay bale weighing 60 to 100 pounds sell for about $6 on the black market, he said. Large ones weighing 1,500 pounds can yield as much as $150. Alfalfa hay used to feed dairy cows is worth the most because it is packed with protein. Grass hay for horses is worth less, he said.
Colley was married to Eugene Colley, the multimillionaire owner of roughly 100 McDonald’s. She was found beaten to death — possibly with a fire extinguisher — on the 300-acre Windswept Farm.
There were no signs of forced entry, leading cops to believe she may have known the killer.
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Image credit: nypost.com ####
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