Copper thieves hit Albany school and construction site - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Copper thieves hit Albany school and construction site

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Metal thieves caused major damage to school property in Albany.

They stripped metal from 16 air conditioner units at a closed Dougherty County School building on South Monroe Street.

Dougherty County School Police say it's thousands of dollars of damage. Crooks took copper tubing from 15 air conditioners at the former Alternative School and stole one entire unit over the weekend. Investigators think recent construction work on the building attracted the thieves.

Dougherty County School Police Assistant Chief J.C. Phillips said "The building hasn't been used lately. They are preparing it for a creative program in the school system. And I think some neighbors or whoever saw it being prepped, the air conditioner units, kind of took advantage of the opportunity."

The crime was discovered today. School Police are asking scrap yards to be on the lookout for a large amount of stolen copper tubing.

If you have any information about this vandalism and theft, call the Dougherty County School Police at 431-1812.

Thieves also targeted a construction storage yard near Phoebe in the 400 block of West First Avenue.

They broke into an Albany Electric storage trailer overnight.

They only got about $40 worth of wire,  but its forcing the company to increase security, even in a fenced storage yard.

Albany Electric's Adam Gilbert said  "Especially here. As you know you don't think about picking it up as much, and now we've really got to consider locking it up tight. To make sure nobody can get to it." Is that the next step? "Yes, sir. Absolutely. Any precautions we can to lock it up even better that it was."

The thief broke the lock off the trailer with a hammer.

Tuesday the construction companies welded heavy metal covers over their locks to discourage thieves.

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