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National Forest Facilities Hit By Metal Thieves

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The U.S. Forest Service is making unexpected repairs after metal thieves broke into three dozen  buildings and stole more than $200,000 worth of copper and brass this winter.   

Thirty-five thousand dollars in repairs have already been made after break-ins at Frenchman Lake and Lake Davis.  Lee Ann Schramel works in the Plumas National Forest.   

 "Theft and vandalism regrettably is something we experience across the forest year-round," She said.  "But, something of this magnitude, with the specificity, this is more or less the first time something this large has happened."

She says improvement projects will be delayed a year because of the repairs. 

The Forest Service says thieves caused more than $150,000 in damages to buildings and cabins in the Tahoe Basin.  The number could rise as visitors discover more damage this summer. 

In the Modoc National Forest, thieves have now stripped the copper wire from a radio transmission tower twice in the past three years. 

The thefts aren't limited to brass and copper.  The San Bernadino County Sheriff's Department made arrests earlier this year in the case of a thousand fence posts and accompanying rolls of barbed wire stolen from Forest Service land. 
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