WAYNESBORO-- Police officers are investigating a recent rash of copper thefts in the city. Nine cases have been reported, including four in April.
The copper stolen is worth over $4,700. Thieves have targeted copper tubing, wire, and gutters.
Many older buildings have been victim to the thefts, including churches, homes, and businesses. The two largest thefts happened at First Baptist Church, and on a construction site involving Fielders Choice Enterprises. Churches are often dark overnight, when the crimes usually are committed.
Sgt. Brian Edwards said the copper is often sold at area recycling plants for money. That cash is then often used to purchase drugs.
"This is an easy crime of opportunity. It does not have to be some sophisticated organization. It takes someone, or a couple people, having a little bit of time," he said.
Police are asking the public to call them with information related to the thefts at (540)942-6675.