Oil Field Thefts Not What You Think...8/16/13
CBS 7 News
Thefts are not only an issue for oil companies, but workers as well. Many oil field workers have noticed items such as hard hats, coveralls, and boots go missing and those items don't come cheap.
Most people think of pipes and heavy equipment when it comes to oil field thefts. But believe it or not, the items most stolen are clothing.
“It’s crazy,” said one resident
Oil workers need special clothing that won't catch on fire easily.
"Everybody that works on a drilling rig has to have a hard hat, has to have steel toed boots, has to have fireproof clothing," said CBS 7 Oil Industry Expert, Morris Burns.
Fire retardant clothing is always more expensive. Jeans range anywhere from $55-$60 dollars, shirts $60-$65, coveralls 130-140 $, steel toed boots $150-$250.
"That's expensive!" said Burns
Red Wing Shoes in Odessa says they've definitely noticed the oil field theft.
"People coming in not necessarily needing boots but doghouses getting broken into and people having to get those boots replaced," said Red Wing Shoe store manager, John Walling. He said thieves have been taking boots and other clothing out of doghouses in the oil field even if they're locked.
"It's amazing what people will steal and go sell and they'll sell it for pennies on the dollar," commented Burns.
Martin County Chief Deputy Ernest Wakefield said in their county about 60% of the thefts were from the oilfield. Some equipment worth thousands of dollars, many of it worker to worker, but also residents stealing from workers.
Burns says basic steps like lighting in the field and locking your doors are the best precautionary measures.