BENTONVILLE -- Benton County's Environmental Division is asking the public to help identify a man who stole a camera used to deter illegal dumping.
The incident happened about three weeks ago near Lowell and images of the theft were posted on the county Facebook page this week, said Timothy Filbeck, enforcement officer for the division.
Number To Call
If you have information about the case, call Benton County’s Environmental Division at (479) 271-1083.
Source: Staff Report
Images from a live feed camera show a man stealing another camera from the top of a 'no littering' sign at the end of Frisco Springs Road. The person also put electrical tape over the surveillance camera. The live-feed camera didn't get the license plate number of the pickup the man was driving.
One photo shows a man with dark hair and wearing a blue T-shirt reaching up to remove the camera. A second image shows a two-tone blue 1993 to 2001 Dodge Ram pickup at the scene.
"No one has come forward to say they recognize the truck or the man," Filbeck said.
Theft of governmental property is a felony, Filbeck said.
Frisco Springs Road dead ends at property belonging to the Army Corp of Engineers, and it's a popular gathering place in the summer, Filbeck said. The area has become an illegal dumpsite because of its remoteness, Filbeck said.
"Trailer loads of tires, lots of household trash, bottles of liquor," said Filbeck, who praised the Sheriff's Office for patrolling the area more frequently at night.
Teresa Sidwell, division manager, said there was one case where 60 tires were dumped along Frisco Springs Road.
Cameras were installed as way to catch people who were dumping illegally. The Environmental Division uses a host of cameras around the county in what Filbeck calls "hot stops" for dumping. Cameras have been used by the county for many years, but have been put into heavy use the last eight to 12 months, Sidwell said. The cameras are rotated to various sites.
There have been other incidents of county cameras being stolen or the camera lenses covered, Filbeck said.
The county uses two types of cameras -- memory card and live-feed models. None of the live-feed cameras have been stolen because they are secured via metal bandings and have a padlock. A memory card camera costs about $100 and a live-feed camera costs about $300, Filbeck said.
The cameras are helping build illegal dumping cases. Filbeck mentioned a Bella Vista area case where a man was dumping trash into a ravine. Items left at the scene and camera images of the man dumping the trash were used as evidence. The man was tracked down and had to clean the site, Filbeck said.
"With the photos there's no way to say, 'That's not me,"' Filbeck said.
Illegal dumping along county roadsides is a problem the Environmental Division faces daily, Filbeck said. He said 80 to 85 percent of the items discarded could have been taken to any of the the county's three convenience center for free. The county has convenience centers near Rogers, Centerton and Siloam Springs. Cleaning up roadside dumps takes away from pursuing bigger environmental cases such as illegal burns, Filbeck said.
The Environmental Division works about 300 illegal dumping cases a year. Most of them happen on the east side of the county, Sidwell said. When a dumper is tracked down they usually live about a mile from where they decided to illegally discard their trash, Sidwell said.
A tip will probably break open the Frisco Springs Road case, Filbeck said.
"On this one, it's going to take someone giving us a heads-up," he said.
NW News on 11/22/2018
Print Headline: County investigating camera that was stolen