Copper thefts across the Bootheel keep investigators busy

Copper thefts across the Bootheel keep investigators busy
By: Ryan Tate
Three Missouri Bootheel sheriff's departments tell Heartland News they continue to get reports of copper thefts in their counties.

Pemiscot County Sheriff Tommy Greenwell says his department received more than 50 reports of copper thefts over the past year. Dunklin County Sheriff Bob Holder says his deputies made an arrest in a copper case Tuesday. New Madrid County Sheriff Terry Stevens said there were three cases of copper thefts in the past week. "Someone, or a group of people, took all of the wiring out of an empty house. It was about an $8,000 job," Sheriff Stevens said.

McCoy Salvage in Caruthersville has been in business for more than 50 years. In the past year, thieves broke into the business at least 15 times. "We've added surveillance cameras, and even a guard dog at night," Hope Franks said. Franks says she has been with the company for most of her life. She says thieves even broke into a storage unit at her home and stole copper.

"They're going into people's homes, and if you're gone for the weekend, they go into your air conditioning and heating," Franks said.

Sheriff Stevens says they have increased patrols and they want people to call the Sheriff's Department if they see something suspicious. Franks agrees. "We need to band together, not just as businesses, but as people. This might help in stopping the thefts," Franks said.

In commodities trading, copper finished between $2.55 and $2.60 Wednesday.