ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Copper thieves have struck the Pine Valley Raceway near Diboll. The suspects stole copper from 10 light poles and did $100,000 worth of damage, according to Deep East Texas Crime Stoppers.
"Although it is possible this was a targeted attack on the racetrack, greed and drug use are usually the reason for this type of crime," the Deep East Texas Crime Stoppers post stated. "Copper wire, once stripped from its casing, is a valuable metal, and it has become commonplace for drug users to steal it from homes, businesses, construction sites, and, in this case, from functioning utility poles"
The Angelina County Sheriff's Office received a report of damage to the light poles at the racetrack, which is located on FM 2497, on Nov. 29.
At first, Billy Bailey, theowner of the race track, thought the suspects took stuff from the concession stands, but that soon changed.
"(We) found where they had pulled the wires out of the poles. Once I've seen that I went down there to check the other poles and saw that they pulled all the speaker wires out, cut, light wires out and cut," Bailey said.
"Photos of the damage show that criminals opened ten light poles and cut the wiring inside each but the photos don't tell the whole story," the Deep East Texas Crime Stoppers post stated. "The copper wire connecting the ten poles was pulled from conduits and stolen, leaving the racetrack's owner to deal with repairing the damage and replacing the several thousand feet of wire."
The post also stated that crime impacts everyone and that someone always knows the person or people involved.
"I was pretty upset because, the damage did they have done is going to cost us where we were trying to fix up some different stuff out here," Bailey said. "(We were going to) do some renovation in the parking lot, bathrooms. That's all been taken away."
Anyone with any information that can help law enforcement identify the person or people responsible for the theft and damage at the Pine Valley Raceway, can submit an anonymous tip by going to the Deep East Texas Crime Stoppers web site and clicking the "Solve This" link at the bottom of the post. Tipsters may also call (936) 639-TIPS.
"Texas laws protect Crime Stoppers tipsters; calls and tips directly to Crime Stoppers are anonymous," the Crime Stoppers post stated. "To further ensure a tipster's identity is never known, Crime Stoppers pays rewards only for anonymous tips. Tipsters who identify themselves or provide information directly to law enforcement are not eligible for payment from Crime Stoppers."
Ultimately, for Bailey, he wants the those who did behind bars, so it can put an end to the crime.
"Just one them bad deals, you hate it for anybody to happen to. I just hope we can find who did it and bring justice to them folks," Bailey said.