The Callaway County Sheriff's Department is searching for a thief who stole 2,500 feet of heavy gage copper wire.
Deputies say the thief or thieves may be driving a blue full-size pickup or a SUV with damage to the left tail light.
The latest thefts involved copper wire stolen from two separate pivot field irrigators stolen from farms in northeastern Callaway County.
Anyone with information about the thefts is asked to call the Callaway County Sheriff's office at 573-642-7291 or the Callaway County Crime Stoppers at 573-642-7291.
City and county law enforcement offices report metal theft has been increasing, because prices for scrap metal have been increasing.
In recent years overall prices for metals have increased rapidly. One cause is the rapid development of economies in China and India.
The most common metal items stolen are made of copper, aluminum, brass and bronze.
In 2001 scrap metal prices averaged only $77 a ton. Prices increased to $300 a ton in 2004. In 2008 prices began to soar even higher to more than $500 a ton. Scrap metal prices have decreased some but the thefts of metal have continued.
Because of their addiction, many drug addicts begin to steel metal to gain money to buy drugs.