If you're like me, you've never heard of a caltrop and are wondering what it is and why's the sheriff's office is collecting them.

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Caltrops are a pretty dangerous device and have been intentionally placed on the roadway of I-20 and can cause major damage. Caltops are a device, in this case made of metal rebar, that is made up of four points and when arranged properly, three points are on the ground and the fourth is pointing up. When the hoof of a horse or other animal comes in contact, it forces them away. In this case they are being spread along a stretch of I-20 and are being used as tire deflation devices. When used this way they are a 'prohibited weapon by the Texas Penal Code (Chapter 46 section 46.05). A person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly possesses, manufactures, transports, repairs, or sells a tire deflation device. This offense is a state jail felony, " according to a Smith County Sheriff's Office press release.

Smith County Sheriff's Office

Smith County Deputies have recovered nearly 30 of these devices along a stretch of I-20 from U.S. Highway 69 in Smith County to FM 314 in Van Zandt County over the past week. These particular devices are approximately three inches in size and are made of rebar. Authorities feel these devices are being deliberately placed on I-20 because of how they are manufactured, each are welded together and painted black.

Smith County Sheriff's Office

The Smith County Sheriff's Office and TxDOT are asking everyone if they may have witnessed these devices being scattered on the road surface or has information about the individual(s) manufacturing them is asked to contact the Smith County Sheriff’s Office at 903-566-6600. If outside of Smith County, please contact your local law enforcement agency.

Smith County Sheriff's Office