Thieves destroy irrigation systems - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Thieves destroy irrigation systems

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ABBEVILLE, GA (WALB) -

Irrigation systems may appear to be in working order but looks can deceive. Someone stole an entire pump system, from a Wilcox County farmer, worth about $6,000.

Investigator Steve Mauldin says since January, it's the third system in Wilcox County that's been hit.

"We've had gear boxes stolen from one site, we had ten tires stolen from another site..and then just on down the road. We had a motor and pond stolen," said Mauldin.

These thieves are looking for parts. They are targeting systems throughout the county, and there is no easier target, than a site like this one, where the parts have yet to be assembled.

One of the systems hit had just been delivered, like this one. The other was in process of going up when thieves hit it.

Mauldin says these thieves are going for the high dollar items, and appear to know exactly what they want.

"You hate to say it, but even the other farmers are in agreement it is probably going to be another farmer."

The equipment can only be used for an irrigation system.

As an investigator, he's handled a number of cases where thieves copper wires had been stolen out of pivot systems but this method is new.

"This is kind of new, where they go to these pivot sites, and steal stuff right off the road here like this."

Unfortunately, these systems are everywhere, and several farmers are getting ready to install. "Just out here riding, we've seen five or six of these systems out on the roads."

He's urging farmers to keep a close eye out on their systems, especially if they have any equipment ready to install. He urges everyone in the county to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity.

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