Local authorities are asking for help from the public in combating a recent surge in oilfield-related thefts.
Since early March, the thefts have been on the rise in Cowley County, and surrounding counties in Kansas and Oklahoma. Significant thefts of brass valves and salt water pumps have occurred in all areas of rural Cowley County with several losses exceeding $10,000.
Thieves are targeting working oil wells, oil and salt water storage tanks, and equipment storage containers causing significant loss of productivity and sometimes the release of crude oil and salt water into the environment.
Many of these crimes appear to be driven by methamphetamine addiction. If you observe suspicious activity, authorities ask that you immediately call 911.
Provide the 911 dispatcher with descriptions of people and vehicles, the location and the activity noticed and the last known location or direction of travel. Do not approach or investigate suspicious persons or activity.
The Cowley County Sheriff’s Office is asking for assistance from anyone who may have information about these crimes. It is the crime of the month for August.
Cowley County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for these crimes.
If you have information concerning these crimes or any other crime, please call Crime Stoppers at 442-7777 in Arkansas City or 221-7777 in Winfield.