FINNEY COUNTY, Kansas — For farmers and supply stores, battery and scrap metal theft is a constant problem.
“Anything they can grab quick and easy and take for scrap iron,” said Rod Oberheim, Manager at Crazy House supply store where he said they’ve had issues in the past. “Scrap iron prices are really high right now, it’s quick and easy money.”
There have been 12 reports of stolen equipment in the Northern half of Finney County. Batteries, metal wire and scrap, and trailer weights have all been taken.
The Sheriff’s Department believes there has been more taken than what has been reported, and they’re asking people with property in that area to check on their equipment and to be on the lookout.
“They were scouting locations in the daytime then going back at night without alerting the homeowner,” said Sheriff Kevin Bascue.
Thieves bring what they take to metal yards, where they can sell it for a quick profit.
The metal yards have a strict process to deter people from selling stolen goods. They have them show identification, a license plate number, and sign an affidavit saying they aren’t selling anything that isn’t theirs to sell.
“If they have gotten something they’re really good about cooperating with us,” said Bascue.
The Sheriff’s Department has suspects and hopes to get to the bottom of this particular case soon, but with so much scrap metal in rural Kansas.
“There’s a market, and as long as there’s a market for it we’re probably going to continue to have this particular issue,” said Bascue.
“It’s a lucrative business, and if you’re being honest about it okay, but there are so many that aren’t,” said Oberheim.
The Sheriff’s Department is asking anyone who sees unusual behavior on or near their property to give them a call and, write down the license plate if possible. 620.272.3700