Thursday, June 7, 2012

They’re at it Again – This Time with a New Twist

Dealing with copper thieves has been a long and costly ordeal for both victims and the agencies trying stop these thefts from occurring. The theft of this metal has increased mainly because the price of copper has soared. According to the US Department of Energy, copper thefts are costing more than a billion dollars a year in losses.

Copper thieves usually target buildings or businesses that are in remote areas such as construction sites, communications towers, electrical sub-stations and vacant buildings. Often times the damage resulting from ripping pipes and wires from the walls far exceeds the actual cost of the stolen copper.

Recently, copper thieves in Overland Park have started targeting their victims in a different way. During the last three weeks we’ve taken a total of eight reports where air conditioning units have been stolen from vacant houses listed for sale.

All of these thefts occurred during the overnight hours. During one of them, neighbors in the area reported seeing a U-Haul truck backed into the driveway of the vacant home. The neighbor stepped outside to get a closer look. The thieves saw him and quickly jumped in the truck and drove away.

The Overland Park Police Department is asking for the public’s help in apprehending these suspects by keeping a watchful eye out on any vacant homes for sale in their neighborhoods. Typically thieves will use some type of larger-sized vehicle in order to haul the air conditioners away, such as a U-Haul, pickup truck or van.