Duo arrested for stealing scrap metal from farmer - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Duo arrested for stealing scrap metal from farmer

Eddie Kelm Eddie Kelm
Holly McComber Holly McComber

JACKSON COUNTY, Okla._Two people are behind bars after they were spotted stealing scrap metal from a Jackson County farm.

It happened six miles east of Blair, where a neighbor told investigators they saw Eddie Kelm and Holly McComber load a trailer with more than $500 in scrap metal from the neighbor's property. Officials eventually tracked the couple down at a local convenience store.

The two told investigators they had permission to take the items, but said they hadn't sold any of it. But after a search of their SUV, investigators found a receipt for the recent sale of metal to a recycling yard and arrested the couple.

Jackson County Sheriff Roger Levick said since the prices have gone up on scrap metal, they've arrested between 20 and 30 people for this type of theft over the past two months alone. He say these type of thieves are brazen, sometimes showing up in broad daylight before heading to a scrap yard to turn a quick profit.

"Some of them look at it as easy money just to come steal your stuff," said Sheriff Levick.

Sheriff Levick has seen all kinds of farm theft from cattle to scrap metal over the years, and has recently seen a spike in metal thefts. He says it's an easy target that thieves often think won't be missed since in most cases it appears abandoned.

"Anytime you're farming, you're breaking down. Your equipment breaks, you have to build a lot or a pen or things like that. You go back into your scrap pile because you've got things that will work," explained Sheriff Levick.

Sheriff Levick says using scraps may look like a mess, but there's a method to it. He even keeps scraps on his land to save time and money while keeping his equipment up and running.

"Some of these parts that are in the scrap piles, they're in there for a reason because you can't even get the parts anymore. So, you can go back, get your scrap pile, repair things and make it work a whole lot cheaper," said Sheriff Levick.

Whatever metal they have leftover and isn't used, Sheriff Levick says many farmers turn for profit once they get enough piled. But if it's stolen, it can take a toll on their finances.

"It gets in your pocketbook, the farmer may have gathered up a set of copper and things like that he's going to sell himself when the market price goes up. They're actually stealing money," explained Sheriff Levick.

Sheriff Levick says your best asset in preventing this type of theft is the help of neighbors, who in this case noticed the crime, made the call and helped catch the suspects.

Both Kelm and McComber are being held in the Jackson County Jail on

A $1,500 bond for larceny of farm equipment.

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