Tonawanda News

Business

March 25, 2010

Police probe scrap copper theft

— — City of Tonawanda police are investigating a theft of $500 in scrap copper they say happened late Tuesday at a business at 623 Young St.

A lock on a fenced gate was apparently cut, and surveillance video shows a white male loading about 80 pounds of industrial copper coils into his dark-colored sport utility vehicle.

“Someone cut the lock to the fencing between two large storage trailers and stole a quantity of copper scrap and some aluminum,” a police report states.

The suspect is a white male, 20 to 30 years old wearing glasses and a light-colored hooded sweatshirt.

The copper coils were described as similar to air conditioner coils but larger.

The owner of the business, according to the report, has experienced similar thefts from a Dumpster outside the locked area, but nothing similar to the latest break in.

A sport utility vehicle with a distinctively square front end pulled directly up to the gates, the video shows.

“The headlights stayed on long enough for the male to cut the lock. The male then opened the rear window hatch ... The driver was observed struggling to carry the barrel to the passenger side front door but it looked as though the rear seats were down,” an officer’s narrative describes the video. “After placing the items in the vehicle he began to leave but pulled forward again to put the barrel back and grab a few more items.”

In all, it appears the theft took about 10 or 11 minutes from start to finish.

Police have contacted several area scrap metal yards to see if the items were sold in the last two days, with negative results.

Charges of petit larceny are pending in the investigation, which is still underway.

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