Target thieves’ motive seems off mark to BLM

CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON/The Daily Sentinel—Christopher Joyner, a Bureau of Land Management spokesman, shows a target similar to the eight that were stolen from the BLM shooting range on 
27 1/4 Road, north of Grand Junction. The agency is offering a reward for information leading to arrest and conviction of the thieves.

Thieves who took several targets from the Bureau of Land Management shooting range on 27 1/4 Road could be looking at very little bang for the buck if they try to unload their ill-gotten steel.

“It’s just bizarre,” BLM spokesman Christopher Joyner said Monday of the theft of the eight hardened-steel targets which were being placed to offer short-, medium- and long-range opportunities.

Stealing the steel would have involved a significant amount of time, planning and investment because of the sheer weight of the targets, some of which run 400 pounds.

The targets are valued at more than $3,000 and the BLM is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thieves.

At the going rate of 9 cents per pound, $180 per ton, for scrap metal, according to Pacific Steel and Recycling, 2365 River Road, the thieves could expect to make about $270 for the steel.

The BLM, however, had much more than that invested in building and placing the oval targets, which were to be installed in ways intended to discourage ricochets.

The targets are to be set out at intervals leading up to 1,400 yards, or about four-fifths of a mile.

Doing so involved using heavy equipment to place the targets, which dangle on heavy chain links attached to frames made of plow-blade steel, Joyner said.

“This shooting range is heavily used, so this theft affects a number of people in the Grand Junction area,” said Grand Junction Field Manager Katie Stevens.

Selling the stolen steel involves risk, Joyner said, noting that recyclers routinely take photos of those who sell material, as well as of the metal itself.

Anyone with information about the theft is asked to contact the BLM law enforcement at 244-3068.


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