It's not every day the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department is called out on an incident involving beet juice. But on Oct. 30 it responded to an incident where there was about 1,600 gallons of the stuff missing from a 2,000-gallon container at Scott's Power Equipment at 4031 West Outer Road in Arnold.
"You just never know what's going to be next," said Capt. Ron Arnhart of the sheriff's office.
An incident report indicated that someone opened the valve on the large vat beet juice, causing it to spill all over the company's parking lot, costing Scott's Power Equipment approximately $2,880 in lost product.
According to Scott's parts manager Mike Davenport, "Whoever opened up the valve sure got a blast of beet juice all over them," adding that the substance is very sticky and smells like rotten eggs.
Davenport said beet juice often is used by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) to spray on roads when icy conditions are imminent since beet juice doesn't freeze.
But Davenport said Scott's Power Equipment uses beet juice to fill tractor tires on tractors and other equipment it sells. Who knew?
With 70 to 100 pounds of beet juice in each front tire, Davenport said a tractor is more stable, especially when it has a front loader attachment, with the extra weight provided by the beet juice. "We would use water, but water freezes and expands and would ruin the tires.
Davenport said he has no idea who would have opened the valve, guessing it was just vandals seeking to create a little mayhem.
Sheriff's deputies canvassed nearby businesses, but obtained no information leading to a solution to the beet juice vandalism.