Lexington Police Say Copper Theft Becoming Rare

Reported by: Aaron Adelson
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Updated: 6/17/2013 6:15 pm
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AAdelsonABC36'

Lexington police say people used to make a living out of stealing copper, and selling it, but police say that's no longer the case.

Gas money, that's all Everett Carmony hopes to get from this pile of scrap.

"I'm having to travel 40, or 50 miles down here just to try to gather up a little bit what I can," said Carmony.

The Urban County Government passed new restrictions last May for selling scrap metal.

"They've tightened down," said Carmony.

About two weeks ago, police say somebody broke into Breckinridge Elementary to steal copper.  Overnight, somebody cut the fence around a cell tower, making off with thousands of dollars worth of copper.  Police say these are increasingly rare crimes.

"When you look at two years, it's just been a steady decline just like that.  It only took a couple of months after the ordinance was in affect for us to really start seeing the positive results," said Sherelle Roberts, Lexington Police.

If you want to scrap an air conditioning unit, you need a permit.  While we were at Wise Recycling we watched the law work.

"We had one customer come in with some HVAC components, but unfortunately he was not an approved seller, so we had to turn him away," said Justin Ervin, Wise Recycling GM.

"If you ain't got that paper, you're not gonna get rid of no AC unit period," said Carmony.

If somebody brings in more than 10 pounds of copper, scrap yards need to hold it for 3 days.  If a theft occurs, this gives police an opportunity to track down the stolen goods.

Stealing copper used to be a quick way to make some money, but not it's a quick way to get arrested.
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johnnyscrappa - 6/19/2013 2:58 PM
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all the copper thiefts are sold out of the county now....pretty rare tela tower theft yesterday. come on this isnt going to stop any drug addict from stealing copper.
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