POSTED: Monday, December 23, 2013 - 6:18pm
UPDATED: Friday, December 27, 2013 - 10:58am
Longview, TX (KETK) — Oil field theft is a growing problem in East Texas.
The Rusk County Sheriff's Department says they've seen as much as $62,000 dollars worth of pipe stolen from an oil field in just a couple of nights.
According to Sheriff's Deputies, the thieves cut locks, steal wiring, pipes, batteries, anything with metal they can get their hands on.
Interferring with oil and gas production is a state felony.
They say the thieves drive trucks that are similar to those used in the field by the workers and since the oil fields are in remote locations they are able to sneak in and out easily.
They steal what they need, sell it and are gone within a few minutes, which makes them hard to catch.
Harrison County Sheriff's Deputy Jay Webb says team work between departments is key to catching the criminals, " in case someone is arrested here..and we do not have an offense that matches some of the material that has been taken, then we immediately begin calling all the other Sheriff's Departments and Police Departments to find if they've had a theft."
The Sheriff's Offices say they encourage live surveillance cameras with 24/7 monitoring to stop the theft.