Police in Mercer County are looking for a suspect who took more than $10,000 worth of metal gates from the 4-H facility in Coolspring Township.
Denise Suereth with Mercer County 4-H said about 72 metal fence panels used to set up portable animal pens were taken from the facility on Route 19 some time in April. She believes the gates were taken over a period time so the theft wouldn’t immediately be discovered.
Suereth said 4-H volunteers and students held fundraisers all year to buy the metal pens to house animals that will be shown in the 4-H Roundup scheduled for July 26. Now, the event is in jeopardy if the gates are not recovered or replaced.
“The cost of those gates is three-fourths of our budget. All the hard work the volunteers did to raise money, it took a long time,” said Suereth. “It’s just disheartening this happened.”
This isn’t the first time the facility has been targeted by thieves. Suereth said copper wire from the dairy barn was stolen last year along with other metal components.
Anyone who may have gates to donate for the July roundup event can call the 4-H office at 724-662-3141.