BOISE -- Detectives are looking for thieves who stole more than $100,000 worth of railroad equipment from rail cars parked on tracks southeast of Boise.
The Ada County Sheriff’s Office and Union Pacific Police say the thefts are believed to have occurred between the beginning of September and October 5. During that time period, thieves stole 140 truck batteries, 112 condenser refrigeration units and a large amount of copper piping.
Although the train cars were locked, most of the equipment taken was bolted onto the outside or otherwise accessible, according to Union Pacific.
"This is equipment that is bolted onto the outside of the train cars that was one of the key things taken, and the other things that were taken were accessible from the outside of the rail cars," said Aaron Hunt, spokesman for Union Pacific.
"It took a lot of time for the people who took these items to detach them, to work through the process of stealing them, loading them up," said Lt. Justin Ryan of the Ada County Sheriff's Office. "It probably took several trips out to the site where they stole the items."
Authorities say the condensers look like car radiators and weigh about 90 pounds each. The batteries are similar to ones used in semi trucks.
Also, the thieves managed to siphon hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel from the rail cars.
The rail cars were parked on the tracks in the desert east of Boise, between Pleasant Valley and Orchard Ranch roads. The thieves damage at least 113 of the 300 cars parked there.
Union Pacific employs a private police force to guard its property. However, with thousands of miles of tracks, they say keeping tabs every train is tough.
"We're looking at a $1,000 reward that we've made available for anyone that can give us information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case," Hunt said.
Anyone with information about this case is urged to call the Ada County Sheriff Office at 377-6790.
Deputies believe whoever stole the equipment will sell at least some of it for scrap metal. Union Pacific says they've already put more guards and private police on these specific tracks.