Nearly $17K in copper stolen in Calera

Published 3:51 pm Friday, September 2, 2011

By BRAD GASKINS / Staff Writer

CALERA – Calera police are investigating a string of copper thefts.

Copper wire valued at $16,766 was stolen last week from four different locations and reported to police Aug. 23 and 25.

Police think the four thefts are related and were committed by at least two suspects, Lt. Chuck Holcomb said, adding he “has a few leads” but has made no arrests.

Holcomb said the thefts could have happened a couple days before they were reported to police.

The suspects stole 342 feet of round copper wire, valued at $6,840, from behind a commercial business on the 0-100 block of Crane Lane. There was no fencing to prevent somebody from getting to the spooled wire, Holcomb said.

The suspects stole 200 feet of rubber-coated copper phone line, valued at $4,000, from a wooded area near Highways 86 and 306.

The suspects stole copper wire, valued at $926, from a wooded area near the 80 block of County Road 213.

The suspects stole copper wire, valued at $5,000, from a wooded area near the 700 block of County Road 23.

In the last three incidents, the suspects followed the AT&T phone line into the woods, where they could cut it down without being noticed.

“They either have the equipment to climb the poles or they’re climbing a ladder,” Holcomb said.

The best chance to catch the suspects, Holcomb said, is to find them in the act of stealing or on their way to sell the copper.

“It’s really hard to catch them” after the copper is sold to a scrap yard, he said.