Leave the beauty alone. 

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
April 18, 2019
Farmhouse with American Flag
Credit: Diana Robinson Photography/Getty Images

How far will we go to transform our homes into a rustic-yet-elegant farmhouse oasis?

Some people will go pretty far it seems, and even resort to stealing property and structural pieces of old Kentucky barns, per the Courier-Journal. "Barnwood thieves have been stealing Kentucky memories across the commonwealth — from Todd to Russell counties — not for what's in them but to feed a growing desire for the farmhouse chic popularized by famous HGTV hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines — that is, taking ancient, weathered barnwood and using it to make a new house look old," writes Tessa Duvall in a recent piece for the paper.

One such case is that of Lois "Nan" Coffey, a 95-year-old woman, whose late husband's barn was robbed clean, "like a skeleton with bones missing." According to the Courier-Journal report, it's even gotten to the point where people buying reclaimed wood request to see W-9 tax forms from the sellers to make sure the origins of the wood are authorized.

Of course, it's hard to say what exactly is causing all these petty crimes. Nevertheless, it's indisputable that the farmhouse chic aesthetic continues to skyrocket in popularity.

WATCH: Waco Farmhouse Designed by Chip and Joanna Gaines Hits Market for $624,900

Unfortunately, law enforcement has a tough time tracking the perpetrators of these crimes down: "Arrests are few and far between. Hundred-year-old barn boards don't have serial numbers, and thieves usually work at night and away from main roads," notes Duvall. "Besides, in a lot of communities, seeing someone in a barn isn't the least bit suspicious."

Goodness gracious — who would have thought? We'll be keeping our eyes peeled to help protect the cherished old barns in our towns. Keep your beloved barns safe, y'all.