Thieves target Irwin Co. homes for copper - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Thieves target Irwin Co. homes for copper

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

IRWIN COUNTY, GA (WALB) –Irwin County investigators are working hard to put an end to a rash of copper thefts throughout the county. Investigators say the thieves are targeting old abandoned homes and homesteads.

For a thief on the lookout for copper, some houses may look like a good target. "People think nothing about taking the copper and it does damage you cannot imagine," said Royce Reynolds. But for Royce Reynolds, and his family it's still a special home, that holds sentimental value.

"People are really upset about  it, they get ten dollars worth of copper and tear up 2,000 dollars worth," said Reynolds.

Over the past few months, Irwin County Investigators have been working to solve a rash of copper thefts. "They hit 15 homes within a couple of months," said Irwin County Investigator, Tammy Purcell.

The group of thieves have been targeting abandon homes and homesteads all over the county in the early morning hours. "Even though those are abandon homes, people still own those homes and some of them have sentimental value because they are homestead places," said Purcell.

And even though it takes a lot of work, they only get away with a little copper. "They go and steal 50 to 60 dollars worth of copper wire and the victim in now left with 6,000 dollars worth of damage," said Purcell.

Authorities urge people to keep a lookout on your neighbors home. "I know nowadays no one likes a nosy neighbor, but nowadays we need a nosy neighbor. Someone that can tell us what type of vehicle they are driving, can get a tag number for law enforcement and can describe the individuals in the vehicle is a great help," said Purcell.

So far, Two suspects have been arrested, but investigators say they think there are two more out there.

Investigators are also working on finding a group they've nicknamed "The Air Conditioning Bandits". This group is stealing air conditioning units during the day while homeowners are away at work and school.

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