The surge in popularity for the farmhouse trend has led to a surprising problem: theft.

In places like Kentucky, criminals have descended on old barns in search of weathered wood planks. At least 13 Kentucky counties have reported such thefts, with some counties now seeing 20 or more barns burglarized a year.

Battered, old wood planks have become popular about a decade ago for use on ceilings or as box beams (to camouflage wiring, plumbing, or other unsightly systems), say design experts.

Older barb wood is often stronger and more resistant to pests. Plus, there’s a vast supply of it in rural America.

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