Deputies investigate copper-wire theft at Polk Co. oil field

This electrical box is where the wire was stolen.
This electrical box is where the wire was stolen.
Randy May shows how the wiring was stolen.
Randy May shows how the wiring was stolen.

POLK COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - By Jena Johnson - email

POLK COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Just this morning, Randy May realized thieves stole $2,400 of copper wire from his work, leaving him and his co-workers angry.

"I've done this job one time, I don't need to do it over for these people," May said.

May says the thieves are risking their life for a quick buck. Copper wire sells for about $500 at recycle shops.

"You're going to be dead," May said. "If you get ahold to it. The only thing you can hope for is your buddy is there and he can knock you loose from it."

Detective Chris Lima says the thieves have targeted this oil field twice in just two days.

"The price of copper went up and it's picking back up," Lima said.

Stealing copper wire from an oil field isn't as easy as picking it up and walking away. May says whoever's doing knows their way around this equipment.

"They kind of know what they're doing," Lima said.

From here the thieves pull about 600 feet of copper and that's why Lima thinks more than one person is involved.

"They would have had to use a truck of some sort to pull it out of the pipe," Lima said. "They wouldn't have done it by hand in less they had two or three people helping them."

"It's costing the company we work for out here that's got these wells a lot of money, you know, for us to take extra time to see what's been tore up," May said.

But, his greatest fear is finding someone dead -- electrocuted in the act.

"So far, they've been lucky and they haven't gotten ahold of the wrong wire and we haven't come out here and found them just laying there," May said.

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