Copper thefts turn school construction site into crime scene - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Copper thefts turn school construction site into crime scene

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

Valdosta Police are trying to figure out who stole thousands of dollars in copper from a construction site.

Officials say someone broke into on-site work trailers at the construction at J.L. Newbern Middle School and stole about $6,000 worth of copper from Plumbing Service Company.

"What they did was, they cut part of the trailer loose to open the door rather than the lock," said Terry Mann with Plumbing Service Company.

The thief or thieves stole some copper from another company's trailer as well.

"They also broke into every job trailer that was out there," said Mann. "The general contractor and also Lang Mechanical's trailer. They stole a little bit of copper from them."

He said leaving their trailers at the site is something they worry about, but they don't have a choice.

"A thief knows a plumber 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," said Mann.

Detectives are reviewing surveillance video from the school, but they would not release that video to us.

Lieutenant Aaron Kirk says metal recyclers usually notify police if they have some suspicious copper come through, and police hope this will help 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 Lt. Kirk.

He added that they're not seeing a spike in copper thefts around Valdosta, but said it is a common crime.

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