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Thieves strike forestry site

Staff Writer

A $500 reward is being offered for information relating to the thefts of items from forestry equipment during two recent incidents.

The forestry equipment belongs to Forest Health Company, LLC, which is currently performing forest thinning work in the Chris Mountain and Turkey Springs area as part of a long-term stewardship contract with the U.S. Forest Service.

The project aims to thin the forest in the area, decreasing danger of wildfire and increasing the amount of water that reaches the forest floor, creating healthier forests.

According to Det. Brandon Bishop of the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office, the first incident happened sometime during the night of July 23 or the morning of July 24.

In that incident, Bishop reported that approximately $1,000 worth of diesel fuel was taken, as well as two batteries from the forestry equipment, worth $450.

The second incident happened sometime the night of Aug. 20 or the early morning of Aug. 21.

In that incident, fire equipment worth approximately $200 was taken and locks were cut off of some of the machinery.

Forest Health Company, LLC owner JR Ford said the fire equipment taken included axes.

Ford said the thefts have not only slowed down the operation, but will increase the overall cost.

Some of that cost, Ford indicated, will come from having to relocate the equipment to a secured site every night.

Anyone with information on this incident, or any other crime, is asked to contact Archuleta County Crime Stoppers by calling 264-2133, visiting www.archuletacounty.crimestoppersweb.com, or by texting “ACCST” plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES).

randi@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on August 22, 2013.