On Tuesday 10/22 an alert citizen alerted the Hodgeman County Sheriff’s Office to possible criminal activity at Buckner Valley Lake west of Jetmore. When officers responded the citizen directed them to the spillway area where he had observed a large amount of insulated copper wire and had noticed burn marks on the concrete spillway.
According to Sheriff Ron Ridley it was apparent that the wire had been stolen and the thieves were burning off the insulation so that they could claim the copper to sell at a scrap yard. Ridley estimated that there were several hundred feet of wire at the site waiting to be burned. The Sheriff’s Office set up remote surveillance of the site and observed some activity on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning as copper was moved from the place it had been hidden out of view from the road to the spillway to be burnt. Ridley advised that based on that activity on-site surveillance was set up for the following night and that shortly after 12:00AM on Thursday morning Deputy Jeff Channell arrested Shayne O. Keese, age 34, of Jetmore for Felony Theft and Felony Criminal Damage to Property at the lake.
Sheriff Ridley advised that the Sheriff’s Office’s investigation determined that wire had been stolen from an irrigation pivot in a remote area northwest of Jetmore. With the increase statewide of metal thefts, especially copper, Sheriff Ridley encourages citizens to report any suspicious activity immediately so it can be investigated. “We all have a pretty good sixth sense about what seems right. If it doesn’t feel right, or seems out of the ordinary then it is definitely worth reporting. We would rather have a call on suspicious activity and be able to determine that it was nothing, than to have something go unreported and then find that there was criminal activity. I certainly commend the citizen in this case for following his gut and giving us a call; his call helped make this case and perhaps prevented future similar thefts by the suspect.”
At press time, Keese remains incarcerated in the Hodgeman County Jail on $5,000 bond.