The Wilbarger County Sheriff's Office is on the hunt for oil thieves who stole nearly 200 barrels of oil. County Sheriff Larry Lee says exactly 180 barrels of oil, cashing in at $18,000 were stolen. They were taken from two different oil tank batteries in the east part of Wilbarger County. Sheriff Lee says right now extra man power is out daily looking for the oil thieves.
The Wilbarger County Sheriff Lee comments, "The oil was taken from two different leases. 120 barrels off of one lease that would constitute a larger truck, then a smaller truck that would hold 60 barrels. We are working off of the premise that it was two different vehicles but the same people." But as of now Wilbarger County Sheriff Office says they are checking out all leads to get to the bottom of this investigation. Sheriff Lee adds, "Of course anytime we have victims that lose that amount of money we want to get on it quick."
There are numerous oil tank batteries set up in remote parts throughout Wilbarger County. But without surveillance cameras or people around, catching the oil thieves may take some time.
Sheriff Lee says, "Unless someone saw something and it clicks and they call in, that we'll give us another lead to check on. We're waiting on the Rail Road Commission and that a red flag comes up in their records."
All raw oil is taken to a Transfer Station in order to get measured and be cashed in. At that point a ticket is filled out with the oil leases name, in which the Rail Road Commission processes. Sheriff Lee says more leads will come up in the Rail Road Commission's daily logs,
but in the mean time he hopes their efforts send out a strong and clear message. "We're going to catch you. It may take a while but I've done this for 20 plus years, we are going to catch you."
Just three years ago The Wilbarger County Sheriff's Office dealt with an oil theft ring and caught the thieves who are now in prison.
Wilbarger County Sheriff's Office tells Newschanenl 6 in this particular investigation the oil thieves can be looking at a third degree felony. They could face up to ten years in prison.
If you have any information the Wilbarger County Sheriff's Office would like you to call their crime stoppers number at (940) 552-5011 or their office at (940) 552-6205.