Commissioners to add teeth to copper ordinance - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Commissioners to add teeth to copper ordinance

August 7, 2007

Albany - A new ordinance to crack down on copper theft in Albany apparently isn't tough enough. Since the ordinance passed, copper thefts have actually increased. Now, Commissioners are taking another look at the issue to see what they can do to help protect your homes and businesses.

Lula Davis is an Albany realtor with really big problems on her hands. "It's a serious matter and I am really concerned about this," she said. When she goes to show a property or rent a house, she often finds another A/C unit has been stolen, or wires have been stripped. So far, she's had at least $15,000 in damages.

"It has happened again," said Davis. "They've hit again. And it's not a good feeling." So she asked the commission to put more teeth into the copper ordinance, regarding how recycling companies buy materials.

"It's an ongoing effort, we just need a little more stricter things in place to help aid the Albany Police Department," said Lt. Benita Childs. And that's help the commission wants to give.

Bo Dorough says he especially wants to crack down on businesses that are completely disregarding the law. He said, "The problem appears to be that thieves are taking copper to other businesses." He says those businesses don't need to be slapped on the wrist, but hit where it hurts. "If we're going to get tough here," he said, "we need to issue citations, not warnings."

Davis said, "It directly affects the quality of life for our citizens here in Albany." A quality that could diminish for all of us. Another reason thieves are targeting those A/C units is pretty obvious. They don't all sell them. Some just want a way to cool off.

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