Below is a picture of a stripper in Hawaii, but of late, strippers of a different sort have been ripping off public facilities, churches,a nd now graveyards in order to make some cash from scrap copper….the story is below the picture….
Police said that within the last two months, they have been alerted to 15 cases involving the theft of copper and brass. Now, police ask for the public’s help in catching the thieves, as the culprits appear to be getting more desperate.
The theft of copper is nothing new. But the demand for it is, according to one of the island’s biggest metal recyclers.
Island Recycling President Jim Nutter said he has never seen the price of copper as high as it is today. At about $3 a pound, it’s almost double or triple the price in past years.
“It seems to be fed by consumer demand, not only in China, but domestically, also. So yeah, right now it’s quite a bit of money, and people know that,” Nutter said.
The police are now asking metal recycling companies like Island Recycling to be on the lookout for thieves looking for fast cash.
“We’re asking them to just be aware of people coming in with large amounts of copper or brass to give us a call,” Sgt. Kim Capllonch said.
Local recyclers said they don’t want to buy stolen copper or brass, but without details of what’s been taken, they said it’s nearly impossible to spot stolen goods.
“If they could give us a general description of what it is and there’s only four or five scrap yards on Oahu that’s buying this material. So it’s not like they have to contact a lot of people,” Nutter said.
The police are also asking the public to be on the lookout for suspicious people in places they shouldn’t be.
Police arrested Michael Handy, 43, on Wednesday as they said he was caught stripping the rain gutters off the Board of Water Supply’s Kapahulu station. Police said it is a good example of alert neighbors.
The problem of copper theft is getting worse, police said.
“We did have a church in Kailua got hit with 80 feet of copper. We had the Waianae wastewater treatment plant got hit for 15,000 feet of copper,” Capllonch said.
Now thieves have turned to grave robbing. Culprits have taken the copper and brass vases from gravesites. The Moiliili Cemetery was the most recent hit, police said.
Even the recycling companies are targets. Island Recycling said it has been broken into and copper has been stolen several times in the past couple of months.