Thieves Busted for Stealing Copper
Some farms in North Central are being short circuited by copper thieves. It could cost consumers at grocery stores and police have arrested 4 men who are accused of stealing copper wire from a water irrigation device. Farmers who were hit by the thieves say they want everyone to know that this kind of theft could affect prices down the road.
Levy County Farmer Thomas Harper has been working on the farm for several years.
"We've been in the kettle business for about 13 years now."
And to be in business that long, he has to have a lot of land.
"How many acres of land do you own," TV 20 asked?
"About 1040," Harper said.
He says he owns four pivots, water irrigation machines but recently Harper had a problem.
"They cut strips out of all of it so it was a complete wiring job for this pivot," he said.
He says he feels violated because four men are accused of stealing copper from pivots at seven different farms. The copper was sold a local salvage yards and it was worth a lot of money, just over 50 thousand dollars.
Levy County Deputies wouldn't reveal how they caught the four men but say simply anyone who thinks about stealing copper should search for work instead.
"The message is very clear, if they continue it is a cost of doing business and I would ask that they find an honest job," Major Evan Sullivan with the Levy County Sheriff's Office.
Now Harper wants to spread awareness that this crime doesn't only affect his business it affects everyone.
"If people know that they are going to be turned in that they're not safe being a thief they then going to have second thoughts about stealing," Harper said.
Levy County Deputies have an "Ag Watch Program," to identify ownership of agricultural equipment if anything happens to be vandalized or stolen.
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