In the community, Local government

Sheriff’s office seeks clues in recent string of sprinkler head thefts

VALE – Malheur County Sheriff Travis Johnson has himself become a crime victim as thieves stole sprinkler heads from his farming operation.

Johnson leases Vale city property on Lagoon Drive to farm.

He said 98 brass sprinkler heads were stolen from him.

He also said sprinkler heads has been stolen from Valley View Cemetery.

He said there have been at least three other thefts of sprinkler heads reported so far in April.

“I don’t have a final count on it. They did it last year, but we’ve had more stolen this year than last year,” he said.

Johnson said the investigation is a “tough one” because “sprinklers sit idle all winter, with farmers not watching them closely and they are in kind of remote fields.”

He suspects thieves are working over several nights with a pipe wrench to steal the irrigation equipment.

He said the sheriff’s office contacted area recyclers and local outlets for irrigation equipment but no leads have turned up.

Johnson said if anyone sees something suspicious at night such as a flashlight or car lights in a local field to call the sheriff’s office.

Johnson said the sprinkler heads cost between $25 and $35.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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