ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – The Permian Basin Oilfield Theft Task Force is staying busy after investigating multiple thefts on pump-jack sites. The Task Force is made up of law enforcement from agencies around the Permian Basin.
Richard Dickson, an ECSO Lieutenant said, “So many times the suspects in these types of cases travel from county to county to county and it particularly helps the smaller counties with their investigations because it gives them all the federal assets that sometimes are needed to prosecute these crimes.”
Like their most recent case, where two men were arrested for stealing more than 600 barrels of oil from companies in Andrews and selling them to companies in Odessa and New Mexico.
“Yeah that 600 barrels was a total weight of several different sites that had been hit and victimized,” he said.
When asked why oilfield theft has gone up these past few months Dickson says it always does when the economy tanks and people look for other ways to make some cash.
“I think oilfield thefts are up because the economy is down. We are seeing all types of oilfield thefts on the rise at this point in time.”
He wants to remind the public this is a federal crime and those that get caught and charged will not be let off easy.
“They get a lot more time and punishment for the federal offences,” said the Lieutenant.