Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

How to halt copper thieves

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Greg Peck
May 22, 2013

Imagine losing your job and, because you have a family to feed, you take work out of state. Months pass, and you can’t sell your home here, so you leave it vacant, with a “for sale” sign, and move your family. You return home some weekend to mow and do other yard work, only to find someone busted in the back door. What’s worse, your plumbing pipes and electrical wiring have been ripped out.

As the Gazette’s Neil Johnson reported May 12, thieves around Rock County have been doing just that—targeting vacant homes to steal any valuables left behind and cut out pipes and wires. Police need a little more help to crack this crime spree.

It’s an insidious crime because repair costs far outweigh the value of what’s swiped. While the thief or thieves net between $60 and $100 worth of scrap metal, the homeowner faces repair bills of between $2,000 and $5,000.

What can you do to help authorities stop this crime spree? We’ll explain in our editorial Thursday.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook

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