DUNCAN Okla_ One by one, Duncan police say bales of hay, worth their weight in gold to many farmers, are disappearing.
For the past two months, police say one farmer has been scratching his head as bales of his hay seem to vanish into thin air. However, they say thanks to an advanced cellular device, they've been able to solve part of the mystery and make an arrest.
Police aren't willing to go into specifics about the device. They're not even willing to show us what new piece of equipment they now have that they say will help them with future crimes. The only thing they would say is it is an extremely advanced cellular device that led them to an arrest last week in the early morning hours. They said it is well on its way to leading them to a second.
"He kept noticing there would be one round bail here, and two there that would come up missing," Duncan Police Detective John Byers said.
He said it doesn't take long for a farmer to notice when one of them disappears.
"It's like gold to them," Byers said. "They have to sustain their livestock. They are trying to hole up with what they can."
When police were tipped off in early morning hours, they suspected they were onto something. They showed up at a field where they found the man who had been apparently been taking the hay.
"When we get notified at 3:00 in the morning, that's not when a lot of farmers are out feeding," Byers said. The officers observed him pulling out of the driveway. It was a pickup rigged with a hay spike on the back of it."
Byers said the man wasn't trying to sell the hay but instead, needed it for himself.
"He said he had livestock he was feeding that hay," Byers said. "He just ran out of it and needed some. So, he went and got it. "
"Need" or not, Byers said he was way out of line.
"It's not yours," Byers said. "It's theft. It's stealing."
He said had the man needed help, he could have asked. Chances are, he would have gotten the help he needed.
"The farmers help each other," Byers said. "If they have extra, they work together, because it's a dying culture."
Police have not released the man's identity, but say a case has been presented to the district attorney. They said they think a second suspect is responsible for the thefts and are building their case.