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UPDATE: Copper Theft Strikes Pompei Park

Wiring stolen from ground units under cover of night, affecting power to all parking lots, police said.

Copper thefts occurred at early Tuesday, taking an unknown amount of wiring from some electrical boxes leaving the parking lots in the dark.

The thefts were discovered around 6:30 a.m. near the southern parking lots by a maintenance worker, according to Glendora Police. Some time between midnight and 5 a.m. the copper wire serving power to the park's lots taken from at least two ground electrical boxes. The thefts affected power to all the parking lots.

Officers later discovered that copper wire from all of the parking lot lighting was removed through a small metal opening at the bottom of each pole. In all, about 200 pounds of copper wire was taken, amounting to a total loss of $7,000, police said.

"Basically it's the power to the lights. What they're doing is stripping the wires down and just taking the copper and trying to sell it for whatever they can get for it," said Lt. Jamie Caldwell of Glendora Police.

The copper was originally discovered stolen from two small, plastic electrical boxes, the type that are typically set in the ground and are easily accessible by removing a nut. Thefts of this nature are very easy to pull off, Caldwell said.

Police have investigated several other metal thefts the past week, many occur with irrigation and other water fixtures.

"We had several thefts recently of water mains. We've had four or five over the last week. Basically what these guys are doing is going around and anything that's made of copper or brass, they're stealing it. They don't care what it is," Caldwell said.

Thieves typically take the stolen metal and sell it. As of Jan. 17, the price per pound of copper has steadily risen. The price rose by almost 50 cents since Dec. 19 to $3.72, according to Kitco.com.

Has your home or business been affected by metal thieves? Tell us in the comments.

Sparks January 19, 2012 at 05:33 AM
Something that confuses me whenever I hear of this kind of theft which seems to be on the incline....who or where do the purps get the cash for such large quantities of metals and how do they justify the bulk to the recyclers? Are not the recyclers responsible to track and retain records for the monies exchanged just as they do for tin cans et al ???
Virgil January 19, 2012 at 06:02 PM
If you recycle at a large recyler like Allen Co., as I do, you would see that they take down driver license or car license info. but......copper thefts are easy to profit from since there is virtually no way to identify stolen metal. No serial number(s), no labels etc. There are laws in place to try and curb this problem but they are just not effective because of the identfication issue. Pompei park is locked at night so the thieves had to park outside the park, likely behind the AMC theatre, and walk in. It is common knowlege that it is easy to climb the fence there. I have seen it while working the annual ACS Relay for life event. Time to step up patrols and start getting out of patrol cars to check our city facilities.
Janek January 20, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Im sure the copper thieves arent heading to the local recycling center to turn the metal into cash. When a friend had his company burglarized (mostly tools) his family headed to the local swap meet and sure enough, there where his tools being sold there. Swap meets are a huge underground marketplace... all cash, no taxes... you can buy just about anything there from auto parts, toys, clothing, to fresh food.

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