Police say the link between drug addiction and thefts in Letcher County continues.
“We have a drug problem and people don’t have the money to buy drugs so they steal to sell items or scrap them to buy drugs,” said Lt. Brian Damron of the Letcher County Sheriff ’s Department. “When we make arrests and interview people, they will commonly tell us that they steal to support their drug problem. I’ve never heard someone say they steal to support their family.”
Deputy Mike Burton has recovered four stolen allterrain vehicles during the last few months. Sgt. Jason Bates recovered several stolen firearms.
“Of course, they are all believed to be drug related,” said Damron.
Damron said recovered items have been returned to the original owners and information from these cases will be handed over to the Letcher County Grand Jury.
Damron said items left in the beds of pickup trucks are being stolen. A new pair of $250 work boots was recently taken from the back of a pickup truck.
“Anything that you can scrap is a big ticket item that people are selling,” said Damron. “It’s all really a vicious cycle dealing with thefts and burglaries to support drug habits. Big picture, this is what we deal with on a normal week.”
Damron said it takes help from the public as well as everyone working in the sheriff ’s department from dispatchers to deputies and other area police agencies to continue to fight the drug and theft problem.
“It’s a big monster and we have everyone involved,” he said.
Damron said people should write down serial numbers located on personal property so that if their items are stolen, the serial numbers can be entered into a national database. If the items are found, it will be easier to locate the owner. He also suggested using an etching tool to mark items in case a serial number is removed.