FALLS CITY – Officials in Pawnee, Johnson, Nemaha and Richardson counties are investigating theft from irrigation pivots presumably for scrap metal and losses estimated in excess of  $90,000.

A Nemaha County sheriff’s deputy told the court in July that at least 14 pivot wire thefts occurred in a 30-mile radius between April and September of 2022.

 A Pawnee County deputy assisted Richardson County deputies in serving search warrants at Humboldt residences in September.

Deputies say a Zimmatic control panel that had been turned over by a Humboldt landlord was traced to a Table Rock irrigator.

In July, a Nemaha County sheriff’s deputy also provided information regarding thefts of pivots and a control panel valued over $5,000.

The Nemaha County deputy told the court that cigarette butts were found in a field after theft from a pivot was reported. Nebraska State Patrol Crime Laboratory reported that the cigarette butts matched the DNA profile of a man police say was living at the Humboldt residences at the time of the searches. That man has not been charged in relation to the investigations.


The Richardson County Sheriff’s Office does report the arrest of two other Humboldt residents linked to the searched houses.

Rickey Long, 40, and Kimberly Hoagland, 35, both of Humboldt, were arrested Tuesday on a Richardson County warrant alleging theft by receiving a Zimmatic control panel. The panel was not found during the serving of search warrants, but was given to deputies later by a landowner.