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Lake Tahoe Public Restrooms Stripped of Copper in String of Mysterious Thefts

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, March 18, 2013

BECKER: "This next photo, you can see, it was kind of a larger pipe."

Robert Becker of the U.S. Forest Service leafs through pictures of the carnage. 11 Public bathrooms, with the plumbing torn out, some only a few years old. The thieves even took toilet flush arms. Hundreds of pounds of copper are gone and no one can figure out how the thieves took it.

BECKER: "So we really haven't found evidence that they were using sleds to haul it off on, maybe some foot prints and putting it in backpacks and hauling it off. Either that or along the beaches. Maybe they were sophisticated and doing it by boat, we really don't know at this point."

Local authorities have stepped up surveillance, but in the long term, the Forest Service plans to replace the pipes with something other than copper.  Despite the vandalism, Becker says, the lake's recreation sites will open as usual in May.

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