Real Estate & Property Law
N.H. Ups Ante for Stone Wall Thieves; New Law Provides for Attorney Fees
Posted Aug 10, 2009 1:26 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
Updating a more than 200-year-old law against stealing the material in the historic stone walls that line much of New Hampshire's farmlands and woods, the state's governor has just signed a bill that ups the ante for doing so.
Thieves can now be fined three times the considerable cost of restoring the stolen wall, plus attorney fees, reports the Boston Globe. Under a 1791 law, the penalty was $15.
Weathered stone is highly desired for new walls, patios and walkways in upscale homes, according to the newspaper.
“We’ve had rampant thefts from stone walls throughout New England,’’ says Jim Garvin, the serves as the state architectural historian for New Hampshire. “What’s happening is that the cash value of weathered stone from a stone wall has become very big.’