Concerns grow over theft of private timber
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Kentucky State Police (KSP) Detective Parmley warned the public about a recent trend in theft. Noting he has recently received multiple complaints about timber theft, Detective Parmley elaborated.
“Timber thefts have occurred on Forest Service property in the past,” Detective Parmley observed. “However, there has recently been a spike in timber theft occurring on private property. As a result, several private timber theft cases are currently under investigation.”
Detective Parmley encouraged landowners to be mindful of their property, particularly property that is nonresidential.
“The properties being hit the most are properties that are vacant, especially those with white oak trees,” he observed.
Signs to look for indicating timber theft include the following: fresh disturbances in the ground where vehicles leave tracks, treetops laying in the woods, and fresh stumps or chunks of wood.
“Sometimes timber thieves will try to cut stumps as low as possible so the cut tree stump is not as visible and can easily be covered up by leaves and brush,” Parmley continued. “Property owners should also keep in touch with any neighbors living near their property and ask them if they ever hear chainsaws running or vehicles revving at night. Several of the timber thefts have occurred overnight.”
Detective Parmley stated the value of timber is currently high, especially if it is veneer grade timber. One good tree alone can bring several thousands of dollars.
“Taking timber that doesn’t belong to you is essentially the same as any other theft,” Detective Parmley warned would be timber thieves. “The only difference is that once a tree is cut down, you cannot give it back and say sorry. Just put the hard work required for timber theft into honest work that doesn’t come with a possible prison sentence and restitution.”
If anyone has information or wants to report timber theft,call Kentucky State Police at 606-878-6622 or the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department at 606-376-2322.