Pike County officials look to clamp down on recent thefts

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Officials in Pike County say they are fed up with a rash of thefts targeting county property.

They say thieves have raided a county maintenance garage multiple times over the past year or so, taking tools, tires and diesel fuel.

They say someone also broke into a display case at the county courthouse, making off with two vintage Vernon Bickford baseball cards.

Sheriff's deputies say they are reviewing security tapes to find out who took them, and when.

"They are looking at that at this time to see who did this," said Chief Deputy Melvin Sayers. "When we do find out who did this, we're going to prosecute them."

Officials say security camera images dated February 20th show someone breaking into the county maintenance garage at Ford Mountain, the latest in a string of burglaries at the building.

"It's happened five times, the break-ins, in the past year or and a half. Five different times," said Pike Co. Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford.

Deputies blame a down economy and widespread drug use for what they are calling a rash of thefts in the community.

"All police agencies are up to their necks with thefts throughout the county, throughout the city, throughout the whole state of Kentucky," Sayers said.

By alerting the public, Rutherford says he is hopeful someone will come forward with information that leads to an arrest.

"We're going to have to do something. We can't let the taxpayer's money go out the back door or the front door from these thieves," he said.

Rutherford says he is working with other county officials to make sure offenders are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

The judge executive says they are looking at options like adding more security cameras and hiring full-time security guards in some locations.

He says he will ask the Pike County Fiscal Court to authorize a $500 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction for these crimes.

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