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Copper Theft

Copper theft in North Minneapolis causes house explosion

Thieves have found a new way to steal money. Copper.

From utility poles, to vacant copper pipes in vacant homes, burglars are finding a way to get their hands on this rising metal.

And for $3 to $4 a pound at a salvage center, copper’s chunk change can quickly add up.

Sunday morning, a vacant multiplex exploded sending glass windows across the street. Thieves cut through a gas line in order to steal copper. Which, emitted gas to later cause the explosion.

“There’s nothing left of it. The roof has pancaked down,? said Deputy Chief Dave DeWall of the Minneapolis Fire Department.

Officers believe there is a link between drug use and easy access to copper refund money.

“They can come here, cut a line, turn it in, maybe get 20 or 30 bucks,? Minneapolis police officer assigned to the problem, Rich Jackson said. “Well that’s a hit of meth, a hit of crack, couple bags of marijuana.?

Xcel Energy said they have taken action by replacing stolen ground wiring with copper-clad wires with little to no value.


Sources:

KARE11 “Explosion levels multiplex in North Minneapolis? - http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=525102

WorldNow “Copper theft a rapidly growing crime? - http://www.kvbc.com/Global/story.asp?S=5109520

KARE 11 “Copper thieves target utility poles? - http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=508446