Thieves Target Metal Scraps

By: Lisa McDivitt Email
By: Lisa McDivitt Email

Two Colorado Springs businesses were hit by thieves on Sunday night, and police say the crooks are probably looking to cash in on the metal scraps.

It happened on the south side of town off of Lake Avenue. Crooks severed and stole the brass pipes on the sprinkling systems for both businesses.

On one of the businesses, the pipe did not have another valve to cut off the water supply, so gallons of water gushed into the street for hours overnight.

"I went upstairs to turn off the water, and the meter's just flying around so fast, you couldn't even count the numbers," Julie Knudsen, a registered nurse and an administrator at Human Touch Home Health Care, which is in one of the buildings hit. "It's just extremely inconvenient and you feel violated."

Colorado Springs police say commercial properties are most at risk for these types of crimes because the buildings have larger items, which means more metal available to crooks.

"When the value goes up, the demand for these items goes up as well," said Sgt. Jim Jeffcoat of the Colorado Springs Police Department.

A similar theft happened just last month at a Re/Max office just down the road from Sunday's victims. Crooks stripped the copper piping from air conditioners at the office off Lake Avenue.

"As long as scrap metal values are high then we're more than likely to see scrap metal thefts," said Sgt. Jeffcoat.

That means people like Knudsen will likely change the way they do business. She plans to increase surveillance and put locked cages over any exposed metal piping.

Police also tell 11 News that typically thieves who are trying to make a buck off of the metal from piping take it to local scrap metal dealers. But those businesses keep files on their clients, so if there are any suspicious repeat customers, police will likely find out.

The price for brass right now is about $2.00 a pound. The business owners who were hit by thieves now face from about $500 to $1,000 in losses.

If you have any information about these recent thefts, you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 634 - STOP.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Carol Location: City on Oct 19, 2010 at 10:06 PM
    The headline should be: Idiots Target Metal Scraps! I hope they wind up wherever David is.
  • by Mark Location: C/S on Oct 19, 2010 at 08:23 AM
    All those wanting to steal metal please come to my house as I have plenty of FREE METAL and I'm even offering a blue light special, line up now and no cutting in line, there's plenty to go around, 170 grains of lead dispenced by my S&W
  • by WTF Location: CoSprings on Oct 19, 2010 at 07:04 AM
    I bet these guys are either black or mexican that are doing these crimes. Well at least it isnt violent. Id rather them do this for cash then hurt a white person.
  • by Brett Location: Westside on Oct 19, 2010 at 06:50 AM
    It's sad, about 3 years ago someone stole all the copper downspouts from the PPCC downtown studio in broad daylight...they claimed they were from maintenance and needed to service them...total loss was somewhere in the $5,000.00. I have also seen almost completed new homes and vacant home stripped of all copper piping. @David I like that you're willing to donate some "scrap" metal to these capitalist...I have some as well!
  • by Pete Location: Colorado Springs on Oct 19, 2010 at 06:32 AM
    This has been going on for years, I think I replaced about 11 this past spring, 1 business had the same one taken 3 times. Cages run around 700 - 1500 depending. These jokers must have thought the water was off for the winter. p
  • by Ed Location: Colorado Springs on Oct 19, 2010 at 06:25 AM
    What is wrong with the scrap dealers having to get a valid ID from those selling scrap metal to them? It might be just that easy to catch the crooks, even if the metal is hauled to another city.
  • by David Location: Colorado Springs on Oct 18, 2010 at 10:45 PM
    If the thieves are in such dire need of metal, I have a few small pieces of lead I'd be willing to send their way...
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