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CARROLL COUNTY, Ky. – A $2,500 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual or individuals responsible for a second theft of copper wiring from the Nugent Sand Co.
The most recent theft at Nugent, located on State Hwy. 36 West in Carroll County, apparently occurred over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
In March, Nugent officials reported large amounts of wiring had been cut from the company’s conveyor near the riverbank. The wire contains copper, which has been fetching top dollar at recycling companies for the past few years.
Plant Supervisor Rick Leach told The News-Democrat that the expense to the company involved in the most recent theft would be significant.
“By the time we replace the wiring, repair the conveyors, the down-time involved and the time it takes to get back up and running, my best guess is it’s going to set us back about $10,000,” he said.
Carroll County Sheriff Ben Smith said the thieves removed about 650 feet of copper wiring from an east-to-west conveyor that runs in a secluded area between Hunter Heights Road and Hampton Road; about the same amount also was taken from another north-to-south conveyor at the facility.
“There was more than 1,300 feet of wire taken altogether,” Smith said. “They just cut it off and took it with them.”
Smith said the same people may be involved in theft from a tire grinder that had been parked parallel to Hampton Road at that time. He said about 50 feet of wiring, 30 feet of conduit and electrical boxes were stripped from the machine.
Smith said Robert Parker, who owns property near Nugent and the former Kawneer plant, reported vandalism to the equipment Nov. 29.
Prior to the incident, the tire grinder had malfunctioned and was awaiting repairs. A crew from Gallatin, Tenn., had been scheduled to make the repairs last week.
Smith said he visited salvage yards in the region with samples of the wiring stolen from Nugent to determine if anyone had tried to sell the copper locally. So far, he said he has turned up no leads.
“When you call those places, the chances are they’s not going to give you much information that will help in your investigation,” he said. “They sometimes have an idea when they buy these materials that the person selling it probably doesn’t have a legitimate right to be selling it.”
There were no witnesses, and no tracks or clues left at the scene, Smith said, which makes an arrest difficult.
“Unless you find the stolen product and can then track it back to where it came from, you’re kind of lost,” he said. “Or you can hope that someone rats somebody else out.”
Nugent Sand was targeted by vandals on March 17 when power to a 7,200-volt transformer had been cut off and sections of the large electrical cables that power the conveyor were missing. Cable also was taken from an unused asphalt-mixing facility at the site, which is owned by Ohio Valley Asphalt
That incident remains under investigation by Kentucky State Police.
Anyone with information regarding either of the thefts is asked to call the sheriff’s office at (502) 732-7010, or call KSP at (800) 222-5555.