Copper Thieves Still Striking - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

MO

Copper Thieves Still Striking

Copper Thieves Still Striking
By: CJ Cassidy

Imagine sweating in sweltering conditions on a hot summer day, just because crooks cut the wires to your AC.

Investigators in southeast Missouri say it happens so often they're putting a task force together to cut down on metal thefts.

Meanwhile, a little known Missouri law from 1965 says scrap metal dealers can do their part to help police.

Many may not realize they are expected to keep information and license numbers of people who sell copper to them.  In fact, police say not doing so, could get them in trouble.

Victims say they hope that changes, soon.

"It makes me very angry very mad," John Lance said as he walked around his farm inspecting the damage.

You would be too, if thieves shut off your power by cutting and stealing your electric copper wires.

Lance is waiting to get his grain bins going again.  Meanwhile, he's out $7,000.

"They sleep all day, steal all night," Lance said.

Investigators said most metal thieves don't seem to have much of a conscience.

Someone ripped off several air conditioning units from a Wayne County church.

They all end up in scrap metal yards for dealers to recycle.

"In the case of copper wire or copper tubing, any kind of scrap metal once it's insulations burned off. One batch looks like another," said Bill Sides with Sides Recycling in Cape Girardeau.

He's not fond of taking information down from customers.

"We run a lot of people through here in the day.  It's gonna slow down the process, not be as efficient we we'd like it to be, if we have to do it we do it," he said.

"It doesn't have to be an adversarial relationship," said Poplar Bluff Asst. Chief of Police Jeff Roland.

Officers there often work with Rick McCoy, a dealer, to catch crooks in action.

McCoy's surveillance system shows police who to look for.

Names, numbers and IDs help track down the bad guys.  It's the kind of system farmers like John Lance hope helps investigators strike while the iron's hot.

Police say spray painting any wires or air conditioning units a unique color might help locate them easier if someone steals them.

They also ask you to call police if you notice someone doing anything suspicious around your neighbors' AC unit or around machinery on a farm.

  • Heartland NewsMore>>

  • First Alert: Showers, storms expected overnight

    First Alert: Showers, storms expected overnight

    Sunday, August 19 2018 5:45 PM EDT2018-08-19 21:45:26 GMT
    Near Olive Branch Illinois. (Source: William Foeste, cNews)Near Olive Branch Illinois. (Source: William Foeste, cNews)

    There is a small chance for scattered showers and storms this afternoon and early evening.

    There is a small chance for scattered showers and storms this afternoon and early evening.

  • Army Corps River Commission makes stop in Cape for low water inspection trip

    Army Corps River Commission makes stop in Cape for low water inspection trip

    Sunday, August 19 2018 5:32 PM EDT2018-08-19 21:32:37 GMT
    Army Corps of Engineers is inspecting low water on the Mississippi. (Source: Mike Monhundro, KFVS)Army Corps of Engineers is inspecting low water on the Mississippi. (Source: Mike Monhundro, KFVS)

    The Army Corps of Engineers River Commission made a stop by Cape Girardeau on Sunday as part of their low water inspection trip. They will be traveling to Caruthersville for Monday, Aug. 20 where they will start one of four meetings with the public to meet with local partners, stakeholders and residents to hear about their concerns, ideas and issues. They will have a meeting held at the City Front on the Mississippi River at 9 a.m. in Caruthersville Monday before heading to Memp...

    The Army Corps of Engineers River Commission made a stop by Cape Girardeau on Sunday as part of their low water inspection trip. They will be traveling to Caruthersville for Monday, Aug. 20 where they will start one of four meetings with the public to meet with local partners, stakeholders and residents to hear about their concerns, ideas and issues. They will have a meeting held

  • Wife of missing Cape Girardeau County, MO man speaks out

    Wife of missing Cape Girardeau County, MO man speaks out

    Sunday, August 19 2018 4:17 PM EDT2018-08-19 20:17:04 GMT
    Mason has no vehicle and has a breathing condition. (Source: Family submitted)Mason has no vehicle and has a breathing condition. (Source: Family submitted)

    A man from Cape Girardeau County, Missouri went missing on Saturday, August 18.

    A man from Cape Girardeau County, Missouri went missing on Saturday, August 18.

Powered by Frankly