"Railroad thefts are pretty common in this type of an economy," says Tommy Gibson, Vice President of Transportation with The Missouri and Northern Arkansas Railroad Company. "They generally happen at night in remote locations or in places where there is equipment stored," Gibson adds.
The Missouri and Northern Arkansas Railroad Company is currently operating with less cars after thieves damaged 40 of them earlier this week, forcing repairs.
"It's estimated that the repair cost to each one of those locomotives is five thousand dollars," Gibson explains. "That's not counting the delay if we was to need to use one of those locomotives we would have to repair it first of course before we could could use it."
Webb City police caught the thieves responsible for this incident. They are working to make sure it dosen't happen again.
"We have definitely stepped up our patrol in the area," says Carl Francis, Webb City Chief of Police. "We will try to keep a better eye on the engines over there, they are so remotely located and so hard to get to that it's kind of difficult for us to patrol the area," Francis adds.
But police and railroading companies aren't the only ones working to cut down on rail road and other related types of theft.
"Missouri metals for example, they work very well with us and they are very good at calling us when somebody walks in with something like for example burnt copper or burnt wire," says Francis. "That's an automatic tale that they have stolen it from somewhere."
It's an offense officials say can come with a heavy punishment.
"You have two different charges," explains Francis. "First you have the theft of the copper then you have the property damage to get to it, and usually the property damage is a whole lot worse than the theft of the actual copper," he explains.
As the rail road company works to get back on track after this setback officials say they are also working to make their cars more secure.
"We remain vigilant, to vandalism, to trespassers," Gibson explains.
The two thieves accused in this case were arrested by Webb City police on Monday. They are each charged with felony theft for the estimated $240,000 in damages.