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Rise In School Yard Copper Thefts Feared

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Copper thieves have already hit two of the district’s elementary schools earlier this month.
“It caught us a little bit off guard.”
Vince Matranga heads security for the district. He says thieves ripped out the copper coiling from about a dozen heating and air conditioning units at John Cabrillo Elementary School. Thieves also stole several hundred feet of underground copper cabling at Hubert Bancroft Elementary.
Matranga says vandals aren’t just breaking windows and spray painting graffiti anymore.
“Now we come across a different type of crime where individuals need money, they may be out of work and now they’re stealing from schools. But they cost the school district thousands of dollars to replace damage that they cause.”  
Copper thefts are up around the country. Thieves sell the copper to businesses that recycle scrap metal. And with copper prices up, district officials are worried about more vandalism. They’re asking people who live near schools to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity over the summer.
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