VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - As construction crews and contractors work on the new gymnasium at J.L. Newbern Middle School, they keep work trailers on site to store tools and equipment.
Over the weekend, someone broke into the trailers and stole thousands of dollars worth of items, including around $6,000 in copper from Plumbing Service Company's trailer. "What they did was, they cut part of the trailer loose to open the door rather than the lock," said Terry Mann, Project Manager for Plumbing Service Company.
The thief or thieves also stole some copper from another company's trailer. "They also broke into every job trailer that was out there," Mann explained. "The general contractor's trailer and also Lang Mechanical's trailer. They stole a little bit of copper from them."
Mann said leaving their trailers at the site is something they worry about, but they don't have a choice. "A thief knows a plummer has got a lot of copper on the job. We have to have it on the job because our contract requires us to have it there," emphasized Mann.
Detectives are reviewing surveillance video from the school, but they would not release that video to WALB Wednesday. Lieutenant Aaron Kirk said metal recyclers usually notify police if they have some suspicious copper come through, and police hope this will help them catch these thieves.
"Anytime somebody brings in a large amount of copper, especially copper wiring that looks like it's been stripped out of a house. Or, new copper that hasn't even been used yet," said Kirk.
Kirk added that they're not seeing a spike in copper thefts around Valdosta, but it is a crime that is not uncommon.