Copper thefts costly problem for Albany business - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Copper thefts costly problem for Albany business

January 16, 2007

Albany --An Albany businesswoman is calling for more police patrols in Downtown Albany, because of the number of copper thefts from homes, businesses, and churches.

Over the weekend copper thieves destroyed eight air conditioners at rental properties that Barbara Beauchamp owns in downtown Albany.

Three units at this office building in the 400 block of North Jefferson were broken into, the copper tubing inside cut out. Tubing that led into the building was also cut down, the rubber tubing that surrounds it litters the ground by the air conditioner.

The copper was also stolen from the air conditioning units at this house in the 300 block of West Tift Avenue. Property Manager Robert Miller says it will cost nearly ten thousand dollars to replace the air conditioners. He thinks thieves are selling the copper for drug money.   Miller said "street people. People who are homeless. We have a lot of homeless, especially in the downtown area."

Barbara Beauchamp said "we are all frightened. We all want to move from Albany."

 Albany Police say copper thefts have been numerous since the cost of the metal skyrocketed.

Chief James Younger says an ordinance requiring more complete identification from people selling copper and other valuable metal to scrap yards in Albany may be needed to stop the thefts.

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