So far, there have been 91 reported cases involving copper and other metals. Nine of those thefts have happened since November, the LCSO says.
One of the cases involved a farm that suffered an estimated $70,000 loss from a theft of metal and subsequent repairs to equipment.
The LCSO says the metal thefts problem is statewide.
In a news release, the LCSO explained the situation this way: "There are people who legally collect and sell scrap metal in order to supplement their income or even make a living. They will obtain permission from the owners of the property to possibly clear a lot or an old building. However, there are individuals who will steal copper wire and other metal from construction sites, residential homes, and farm equipment. These people not only commit the crime of theft, they also cause serious damage to property and equipment which greatly interferes with the operation of a farm
or hampers construction, not to mention the expense of replacement or repair."
The LCSO is asking the public to be aware and to report anything which may appear to be suspicious. If you see a vehicle or trailer loaded with scrap metal, if possible get the license plate number and call the Sheriff's Office at (501) 676-3000.
"It would especially be suspicious if someone was transporting metal at night, or if a vehicle is seen driving around a farm shop or construction site at night. Thefts such as these, affect everyone somewhere down the line. Remember, if something does not seem right, it's probably not," the news release says.
The Sheriff's Office says it recently came across a vehicle and trailer (photos below) loaded with aluminum pipe. Investigators are trying to find out if the pipe was stolen and asks that anyone who has recently experienced a theft of aluminum pipe are asked to contact the LCSO.