Thieves have targeted farm and ranch supply stores in several communities in our area recently. They're swiping items right off the store lots.
Police in those communities are working to see if the thefts are related, and they want any unknowing buyers of stolen stuff to be on guard.
At Farmers' Feed and Seed in Sapulpa, there's an empty spot where some of their products should be sitting. Thieves took eight black water troughs--a whole pickup load.
"Stopping right here and grabbing what they're interested in," said store employee Joan Deckard.
It cost the business hundreds of dollars in lost inventory, and it's not the only farm and ranch business that was targeted. Stores in Bristow and Sand Springs also had similar items stolen from their lots, each within a week and a half of each other.
"My best guess is they're probably going to flea markets and they're selling it for pennies on the dollar," Deckard said.
In Sand Springs, thieves also took feeders and a hay rack from the Tractor Supply store on Highway 97. It happened just before 1 a.m., but since the shopping center is open 24 hours a day, it's not out of the ordinary to see vehicles in the parking lot at that time of night.
"Evidently, they've cased it enough to know exactly what they want and they did take it," Sand Springs Police Deputy Chief Mike Carter said. "They do it quick."
Sand Springs police say the thieves could be scrapping the metal for a quick profit or re-selling the items for much less than what they're worth, which should be a red flag for any potential buyers.
"Selling a hay feeder for a lot less than it should be going for--that's suspicious, and people should contact their local law enforcement," Carter said.
"I want people to pay attention if they're getting too good of a deal on something," Deckard said.
In Sand Springs and Sapulpa, the thieves were in a blue late '80s or early '90s Chevy short-wide pickup. Anyone with information that could help can call their local law enforcement, or Sand Springs Police at 918-245-8777.