Metal thefts in Albany on the rise - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Metal thefts in Albany on the rise

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May 7, 2008

Albany--Albany Police say they depend on honest metal recyclers to help catch dishonest metal crooks.

The thieves are getting more brash, stealing from churches, farms, and even from the middle of city streets.

Scrap yards are paying more than three dollars a pound for copper. That high price is leading to more copper thefts.

It's not just copper. Crooks are looking for any kind of metal to sell, stealing cast-iron man hole covers and storm drainage lids.

On Wednesday 17-year-old Javor Williams, and 19-year-old Tenorris Wright were arrested trying to sell stolen covers to Schnitzer Southeast Recycling Company.

"We knew the police wanted to catch them, so we went ahead and got their ID, we weighted the car, set it down on the yard and we called the police," said Rex Kiger, Schnitzer Southeast Recycling Company.

After the rash of thefts police went to the local recycling companies asking for help.

"One of the places I went, what use to be Albany Recycling on East Gordon, they called us and let us know they had people who tried to sell two of them," said Detective Michael Persley, Albany Police Department.

Schnitzer Southeast checks IDs, takes down license plate numbers, and gets a description of the vehicle, and still find people trying to sell stolen metal.

"We've seen people try to pass stuff off we've cooperated with the police and try to pick up, they've made several arrests out here with people's information we've given them," said Kiger.

This time, the two suspects were still in the car when police arrived.

"I talked to the guys and at first they said the found them, but then through further investigation we found out they had actually stolen two of the catch basin covers," said Persley.

The arrest of the suspects in this case prove that communication was the key to solving this case, and hopefully more cases like it in the future.

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