Pennsylvania State Police say after more than a decade of being a presence in Northeastern Pa., gas drillers are still being targeted by criminals.

Incidents over the years have ranged from trespass as citizen and environmental groups and some neighbors protested drilling operations being set up in their communities to vandalism of equipment at the wells.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News
Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

Many incidents over the years have uninvolved thefts from drilling sites, which, for days at a time, may be unattended. In one of the most recent incidents, Pennsylvania State Troopers are looking for suspects who stole copper from a Coterra Energy well pad on Stockholm Road in Rush Township in Susquehanna County between July 8 and 14.

In a news release issued out of the Gibson Barracks, officials at the drilling site in Susquehanna County told the authorities the theft had happened sometime between 6 p.m. on Friday, July and 8:22 p.m. on Thursday, July 14.

The news release indicated the material that was taken in the theft was an amount of copper wire.  The value was placed at $400.

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Since horizontal hydraulic fracture drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale Gas Play in Northeast Pennsylvania began around 2011, the controversial method of breaking apart rock to release fossil fuels has spawned some legal and illegal backlash in host communities.  Most incidents have been minor nuisance crimes or crimes of opportunity.  While security cameras are present at many gas pads, there continue to be reports of fuel stolen from vehicles, the theft of metal for scrap, siphoning of fuel from vehicles, removal of catalytic converters from gas company trucks and the occasion theft of vehicles themselves.

Anyone with information about the Coterra Energy incident is asked to call Trooper Hollenbeck at 570-465-3154.

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