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Big Spring Herald Publisher Ron Midkiff announced this week the local newspaper will be offering a cash reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the recent theft and vandalism of news racks located throughout the community.
Midkiff said the newspaper has had at least two of the racks â€” located throughout the city for area residents to purchase newspapers from on a daily basis â€” stolen in the last week, the most recent taken from the entryway of the Big Spring Mall.
â€śThe rack was situated near the mall entrance, just outside the door,â€ť Midkiff said. â€śSecurity cameras captured the theft on video, and the information has been turned over to the Big Spring Police Department, who have informed us they are investigating the thefts.â€ť
According to Midkiff, the rack was later recovered at a property near Scenic Mountain Medical Center on Martin Luther King Blvd., after the property owner discovered the piece of equipment.
However, after reviewing the number of newspapers still in the rack after it was recovered, Herald Circulation Manager Robert Smith said the thievesâ€™ ill-gotten spoils were most likely disappointing, at best.
â€śThey had used some sort of device â€” possibly a crowbar or a torch â€” to pry open the change box that sits on the top of the rack,â€ť Smith said. â€śIt basically destroyed that entire portion of the rack, which will cost approximately $150 to repair.
â€śWe had a second rack â€” it was located at Hilltop Cafe in the 1400 block of E. Fourth Street â€” stolen this week, as well. That one hasnâ€™t been recovered yet and will cost around $400 to replace. The most ironic part of all of this is neither of these racks could have had more then $4 or $5 when they were taken. These people went through all of this for less than $10.â€ť
Midkiff said the Herald is willing to line local residents pockets with considerably more cash than that â€” $100, to be exact â€” for information leading to the arrest of the thieves and vandals responsible for the damage.
â€śThis needs to stop, and the Herald is ready to step up and offer this reward as a way to make that happen,â€ť Midkiff said. â€śOur hope is the $100 reward will inspire someone who knows these people and knows what they are doing. Hereâ€™s a way you can make $100 legally and help the community at the same time.
â€śWe know this isnâ€™t just a problem with the newspaperâ€™s property. There are people all over the Crossroads area who are being victimized by these thieves, and itâ€™s time we fight back. The police department is doing all they can do, but they have more pressing criminal activity to deal with on a daily basis. Itâ€™s time for us, as citizens, to step up.â€ť
To report information regarding the stolen news racks, contact the Herald at 432-263-7331 or the Big Spring Police Department at 264-2550.
Contact Staff Writer Thomas Jenkins at 263-7331 ext. 232 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org