DECATUR COUNTY, GA (WALB) - Crooks stole 12 tires and rims in Decatur County but not from cars or trucks. They were taken off an irrigation system in a cotton field. Farmers in the area are worried it may happen again. And they can't afford the loss.
Irrigation systems are a necessity for south Georgia farmers, but they can't do their job without a good set of tires. Investigator Julian Crowder with the Decatur County Sheriff's Office says the call came in Saturday morning. Twelve tires belonging to an irrigation pivot were missing.
"The twelve tires are estimated at 4,800 dollars, approximately 400 dollars a tire. The tires were 14.9 by 24 inches in size, and they were Goodrich brand tires," says Investigator Crowder.
Glenn Heard owns the farm and irrigation system. He says the loss was costly and disruptive to the flow of business.
"The other day when we found out it happened, we had to stop four employees who were supposed to be picking peanuts to fix this irrigation system," says Heard.
But the question on everyone's mind is, why? Farmers say they've had problems with copper wire thefts from their irrigation pumps in the past, but never tires. Investigator Crowder says the reason may be for an outdoor activity known as mudbogging.
"The more people that I'm speaking with are kinda leaning toward some of these specialty vehicles for mudbogging. A lot of these drivers like to use these irrigation tires on their system," he says.
Whatever the motive may be, farmers just hope it doesn't happen again.
"Some farmers have already started putting video cameras on irrigation systems, so that's something else we may do," says farmer Heard.
The Sheriff's Office is still investigating the case. They're offering a 500 dollar reward for information leading them to an arrest of those involved.
A similar theft took place in Seminole County a few weeks ago when 10 irrigation tires were stolen. If you have any information on the theft in Decatur County, you can contact Investigator Crowder at 229-400-8012. Feedback