Wade, North Carolina farmers are experiencing a rash of farm equipment thefts. The recent thefts have focused on copper wiring in various farm machines. The copper, which can be sold at a scrap yard, can fetch a significant amount of money, making North Carolina farms a tempting target for many thieves.
Copper thefts have been ongoing in Wade, and throughout the rest of North Carolina. Over the past several months, apartments, air conditioners, and machines in yards have been dismantled in order to gain access to copper components.
Outside of the thousands of dollars it can cost in material and labor to fix dismantled machines, the real cost of these thefts can be found in production schedules. Many important farm machines, particularly irrigation equipment, can appear fine until farmers attempt to turn them on.
Repairing irrigation equipment can take days or weeks, leaving crops to wilt in the sun without water.
Many Wade farmers have taken to fencing up their property, while others have made sure to keeps guns nearby to protect themselves and their belongings.
According to local police, while there are no hard numbers, anecdotal evidence points to a statewide epidemic of copper thefts.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer