Albany -- Copper and metal theft, one of the fastest growing crimes in Georgia, has gotten the attention of the Joint Law Enforcement Gang Task Force in Dougherty County. Theft of air conditioner parts, copper wire, and plumbing pipes has been a major crime problem in Albany.
Dougherty County Police Chief Don Cheek says the multi-agency task force, put together to battle gangs also looks into other crimes, including copper theft. "You can't just isolate copper thefts in one pile, and gang activity in another, and drugs in another, and burglaries in another. They are very much intertwined."
Authorities in Macon credit a task force of law enforcers, scrap dealers, and business people with cutting their metal thefts from 80 a month to less than 20.
They also say a Georgia law making it a felony to steal metals worth more than $500 is helping cut thefts.