Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Butler County sheriff’s deputies are being ordered off the highways and onto county roads as they try to stop a big problem. Thieves are stealing thousands of dollars in hay bales.
Butler County farmers are keeping a close eye on their hay bales. Sheriff's detectives say thieves are striking nearly every day, stealing expensive hay."
Orville Carver found the lock to his gate cut and nearly $500 worth of hay gone.
"The economy has some part to do with, but it doesn't justify stealing from other people," Carver said.
He’s not alone. Bill Baker down the road just lost several bales. Right now, hay is hard to find, and the price runs about $140 per ton.
"It’s quite a bit of money that they have stolen,” Baker said. “With the economy and as dry as it's been, it's a big dent."
The sheriff says he’s getting reports every week.
"It is a major thing with the drought that we've had this summer,” said Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet. “It's only going to get worse."
The sheriff set up deer cameras at one farm, hoping to catch the thieved red-handed, and many farmers are following suit.
“I really want to encourage the farmers and the ranchers to get the hay out of the fields – move closer to their homes where they can keep an eye on it," Herzet said.
The sheriff says a lot of times the farmers aren't reporting stolen hay. But the sheriff is asking that they call 911 if they see something missing.
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