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BENTONVILLE -- The Benton County Environmental Division is looking for people who stole cameras used to deter illegal dumping.

The first theft happened in late October on Frisco Springs Road near Lowell, said Timothy Filbeck, enforcement officer for the division. Another camera was stolen a few days after Christmas on Yell Cemetery Road near Siloam Springs, he said Wednesday.

In the Frisco Springs case, images from a live feed camera show a man stealing another camera from the top of a "no littering" sign at the end of the road. The person put electrical tape over the surveillance camera. The live-feed camera didn't get the license plate number of the pickup the man was driving.

One photo shows a man with dark hair and wearing a blue T-shirt reaching up to remove the camera. A second image shows a two-tone blue 1993 to 2001 Dodge Ram pickup.

The county didn't get any photos of the December incident, Filbeck said. Theft of governmental property is a felony, he added.

Frisco Springs Road dead-ends at property belonging to the Army Corps of Engineers, and it's a popular gathering place in the summer, Filbeck said. The area has become an illegal dump site because of its remoteness, he said.

Filbeck still thinks a tip from a resident will solve the Frisco Springs case. It could involve someone being arrested in an unrelated case giving up information, he said.

"Unfortunately, in these kind of cases, someone will have to come forward and say, 'I know who did it,'" he said.

Cameras were installed to catch people who were dumping illegally. The Environmental Division uses a host of cameras around the county in what Filbeck calls "hot stops" for dumping. The cameras are rotated to various sites.

Teresa Sidwell, division manager, put up cameras Wednesday.

"We're going to keep putting them up," Filbeck said.

The county uses two types of cameras: memory card and live-feed models. A memory card camera costs about $100, and a live-feed camera costs about $300, Filbeck said. The camera stolen in December cost $325, he said.

Filbeck said 80 percent to 85 percent of the items illegally discarded could have been taken to any of the county's three convenience centers for free. The centers are near Rogers, Centerton and Siloam Springs.

The Environmental Division works about 300 illegal dumping cases a year. Most of them happen on the east side of the county, Sidwell previously said. When someone is caught illegally dumping, he usually lives within a mile, Sidwell said.

NW News on 01/10/2019

Print Headline: Thieves take second surveillance camera

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