Thieves Stealing Copper from Farmers in E. New Mexico - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Thieves Stealing Copper from Farmers in E. New Mexico

Jim Idsinga is one of several farmers in Eastern New Mexico who have had their copper wires stolen from their irrigiation system Jim Idsinga is one of several farmers in Eastern New Mexico who have had their copper wires stolen from their irrigiation system

Jim Idsinga was shocked when he found out that somebody had stolen hundreds of feet of copper wire from the irrigation system on his farm.

"The sprinkler guy who does my work noticed it was missing, and that's when I filed a report with the Sheriff's Department and that was when I found out that it was going on all over, said Idsinga, owner of a dairy farm in Roosevelt County. Idsinga is one of several farmers in Eastern New Mexico who have had their copper wires stolen from their irrigiation system, in the past few months. The copper is used to control the sprinklers.

Roosevelt County Sheriff Darren Hooker says those thieves are taking the copper wires to recycling plants for money. "The price of copper has gone up, so therefore these thefts have gone up," said Sgt. Hooker. It's believed the thieves are meth addicts. The quick buck they make from the copper goes towards feeding their drug habit.

Law enforcement has put recycling plants in Clovis and Portales on notice: Do not sell to people who have no business having copper wires. Jesus Chavarria with Clovis Recycling says he now asks for an ID before he can accept copper.  That's a move Sargeant Hooker says will most likely force thieves to sell the stolen goods elsewhere.

So he has a message for farmers too: "What we're asking is that they be more attentive to their fields, checking their sprinklers more often than they might be used to."

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