Winkler County Cracking Down On Oil Field Thefts 9/12/13
September 12, 2013
Kermit - From pipe to pump jacks, oilfield thefts continue to be a problem here in the Permian Basin. One county says they have had enough and is teaming together to catch the thieves. Officials are saying these thefts happen often because pipe is left out in the open.
“This is typical, the gates are open and the pipe is just sitting there, you can see the pipe rack,” said Winkler County Sheriff George Keely.
It’s become very common; people simply pull up to a pile of pipe and take it as their own. “We could load 15 or 30 joints on a trailer and be out of here in 15 minutes and nobody would know it,” said Keely.
Which is why the County has made it their mission to catch these thieves. With added technology to watch the most hit areas and by asking citizens to do some community policing many have already been caught.
“We tell them to help us. If you see something that looks suspicious, help us, and they’ve really been great about it, we’ve done some really big thefts and prevented some as well,” said Keely.
Because Winkler County deputies are from the area, identifying the thieves is really quite easy. “We know all the oil operators, we know the people in charge of the lease, and the production foreman,” said Keely.
If you have any information or see something out of the ordinary give the sheriffs office a call at (432) 586-3461 and they will be happy to check it out.