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Midwest offers reward in Colby metal theft


COLBY -- Midwest Energy is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the theft of several brass switch tops earlier this month from a storage yard near Colby.

Sometime this month, thieves cut the fence at a Midwest Energy outdoor storage facility in the 1200 block of North Franklin, just north of Colby city limits. They pried opened several storage crates containing electrical switches. Thieves stole the brass tops from a dozen switches, valued at more than $10,000, rendering them useless in the event of a storm or an outage.

The Thomas County Sheriff's Department is leading the investigation into the theft.

"The switch tops themselves have no other application, other than as scrap metal," said Chris Gerstner, Colby operations manager for Midwest Energy.

The scrap value of the metal is estimated at less than $300. Scrap dealers in Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado are aware of the theft, and are looking for anyone trying to sell the uniquely shaped items.

Anyone with information on the theft is encouraged to contact Detective Mark Finley at the Thomas County Sheriff's office at (785) 460-4570. Tips can be made anonymously.