Crimetracker: Irrigation Copper Thefts Rising

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Farmers across the state are getting robbed. Not of rain, but of thousands of dollars in copper.

Last month, KAKE News told you about a string of copper thefts from irrigation systems in Sedgwick County, now investigators say those thieves are spreading out.

Authorities say without the public's help, the thefts will not stop.

Warren Miller has been farming for years in Reno County.

"they took the cables off the irrigation systems, I know five others who had it happen." says Miller.

the thieves are striking in the dark of night, stripping between $8,000 to $10,000 worth of copper from each system in fields all over Kansas.

"It's becoming a real problem," says Reno County Sheriff's Captain Wayne Baughman. "It's an expensive problem, it's a problem for everybody. It costs everyone because it causes insurance rates to go up."

Reno County has had 12 cases reported in the last two months. Sheriff's Investigators say it's hard to catch the thieves without the public's help.

Many farmers are now installing alarm systems so that when the wires are cut, it sends an alert to the farmer's phone.

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