Mountain View Voice

News - March 12, 2010

Police probe several copper thefts

by Kelsey Mesher

Police say a string of copper wire thefts have hit Mountain View in recent days, with the third incident reported last Friday after thieves ripped $32,000 worth of copper wire from the roof of a vacant building on Shorebird Way.

According to police, a property manager discovered the theft while inspecting the roof of the building at 1371 Shorebird Way. Police got the call on March 5, but believe the theft occurred sometime in the month between Feb. 4 and March 4.

"Somebody got on the roof," said police spokesperson Liz Wylie. "There's no sign of forced entry — the assumption is they used a ladder — and ripped all the copper wiring off the roof."

Meanwhile, Mountain View police are investigating the theft of copper wire ripped from several electrical boxes in the parking lot of Shoreline Amphitheatre. That theft was reported on Monday, March 1, and is believed to have happened over the previous weekend. A report of copper wire theft from Diamond Systems Corporation at 1255 Terra Bella Ave. was also made on that date.

In the Shoreline Amphitheatre incident, a groundskeeper called police after discovering a vandalized electrical junction box at the base of a light pole in the parking lot. Police found that nearly all of the 21 junction boxes at the bases of the light poles in the parking lot were damaged, Wylie said. Estimates put the stolen wiring at about $1,000, and repairing the lighting system at an additional $30,000.

Wylie said police have no leads at this time, and no particular evidence to suggest the crimes are connected. Anyone with information is asked to call Mountain View police at (650) 903-6344.

Copper wire theft increases when the metal's value rises, Wylie said. The current going rate for copper is $2.95 per pound, she said, adding that people can recycle it at recycling centers without having to identify themselves.

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