Batteries and Tailgates, Latest Target for Thieves
MOBERLY- Truck tailgates and batteries are the latest items thieves are going after in Mid-Missouri. According to some salvage yards the increased price of metal is to blame.
Faith Tallman, of Fusselman Salvage Co. in Moberly, said they've been seeing more batteries brought in for sale. The salvage company pays $10 for used batteries, making them popular items for thieves. The salvage company has seen its fair share of thieves. "Every week we get somebody, whether it's a Sheriff from Chariton County, or Boone County, or Audrain County, or Randolph County, we've got it from all over." To help authorities keep track of possible cases, Fusselman's adopted an identification program for selling batteries similar to the law required for selling copper. Anyone receiving more than $50 for copper must present an ID at the salvage yard, according to state law. With more batteries coming in Fusselman's is now requiring identification for all battery sales.
In addition to batteries, truck tailgates have made the list for thieves. Carl Kelly, of Kelly Automotive Inc., says tailgates are popular because they're easy to remove. "Take it off in 15 seconds and you're done. It's the easiest part on a truck to steal." A tailgate isn't worth much in scrap. According to Kelly, their value is in the resale, "They're pretty lucrative. You could probably get a couple hundred bucks out it, depending." Kelly said his business uses security cameras to deter such thefts at his car lot.
Randolph County Sheriff Mark Nichols says the higher price for metal can be blamed for the increase in incidents, "What we say around the office is, if it's metal and it's not bolted down, it's stolen." Nichols said the county is increasing patrols and asks residents to keep their eyes open and to suspicious activity to authorities.