Farmers Get Hit by Thieves
Thieves recently stole copper wiring from Joe Shryock's irrigation system.
"It kind of makes you mad. The cost to replace the wire, labor and wire, was about four thousand dollars," said farmer Joe Shryock.
High copper prices are to blame for a wave of copper thefts in mid- Missouri.
The price of copper is double what it was two years ago at around $3.50 a pound.
"The price per pound has just shot through the roof in recent months...anybody that's wanting to reappropriate other people's property for their own use is hitting copper right now because of the pay out," said SGT. Mike Stubbs with the Boone County Sheriff's department.
Officials say copper thefts on farms are difficult to prevent.
"I think the thing that makes farms more at risk is that they are remote, many of the irrigation systems are out, away from the house, out in the middle of a field, so people have a chance to get out there and steel something with a little less supervision," said MU extension engineer Don Day.
Experts recommend farmers keep gates locked, install anti-theft devices on equipment and use security lights.
"I hope that someone can come up with some sort of solution to better catch these guys because its a real problem not just for me but its happening all over the Midwest," said Shryock.
Shryock is taking extra steps, but prefers not to say what they are hoping he can prevent future thefts.
Officials urge farmers to report copper thefts to local law enforcement.