Virginia Man Laments Level of Area Drug Use, Theft Incidents

BEATRICE – A Virginia, Nebraska resident is urging Gage County to get tougher on what he described as “an epidemic” of drug users stealing property for the money to feed their drug habit.

James Libal commented before the Gage County Board Wednesday.

:26                  “who they are”

County law enforcement officials today said a lack of available jail space is not a factor in how many people can be arrested.

Libal says he knows of at least ten people who have had property stolen, including tools and power equipment.

:10                  “to court”

Libal fears things are going to get worse, and that someone may get hurt, or killed. Acknowledging that Gage County isn’t alone, he said “we have a terrible drug problem”.

Gage County Attorney Roger Harris says local law enforcement agencies are actively pursuing those involve in drug use and sales, along with situations where there are minors in homes where drug activity is occurring.

:23                  “just manpower”

Sheriff Millard Gustafson says his department is hoping to transition an officer to full-time drug investigation and has a canine officer to assist.

:22                  “the way it is”

One supervisor, frequently critical of law enforcement, says more time should be spent on crime priorities.  Board member Erich Tiemann says those include drugs and thefts.

:28                  “can of worms”

Gage County Supervisor Gary Lytle says it’s important for property owners to have some identifying mark or number on their property, so that if something is stolen and recovered, it can be matched with the owner.

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