Copper Thieves Steal From Pike Co. Farm


By Alabama News Network

For more than 35 years, Michael Sanders' full-time job is farming. But, this week he experienced something he has never seen before.

Michael said, "We were pulling corn in the field and when I went by I got noticing the tracks and looked up the tours and there's no wire left on them."


Nearly 1,300 feet of copper wire was stolen from this irrigation system, totaling between $10-20,000 in damages. But, if Michael hadn't noticed it was gone, the situation could have gone from bad to worse. "It could have shorted out and possibly killed somebody or electrocuted them or whatever you know you don't know," he said.


Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas said, "An irrigation is not something that a farmer sees everyday."


That's a reason why it is hard for law enforcement to solve these cases.


Sheriff Thomas said, "You don't know exactly how much of a lapse in time you've got when you are investigating that type of case. You lose evidence."


It's a time consuming investigation for the pike county sheriff's office and the statewide agriculture and rural crimes unit. And the sheriff says the punishment far outweighs a quick buck made by selling scrap copper.


Sheriff Thomas said, "To spend 10 years of your life in a penitentiary, to me it is absolutely not worth it. There's easier ways to make money."


And a conviction is what Michael is hoping for.  He said, "Hope they do the time and learn something from it."

If you have any information you are asked to contact your local law enforcment agency. You can also call the statewide Agriculture and Rural Crimes Unit at 855-75-CRIME.

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