Copper thieves hit Albuquerque church three times
Posted at: 09/30/2013 6:41 PM
By: Kim Tobin, KOB Eyewitness News 4
APD says thieves are targeting big businesses and buildings, but for the copper wiring.
Monday morning, St. Andrew Presbyterian church members realized they were hit for the third time.
"It's déjà vu all over again," said Pastor Frank Yates.
The church was also robbed in August and last December.
PNM workers at the scene of the crime off San Mateo in Northeast Albuquerque described it as "their typical Monday." They see buildings with copper wiring yanked from the electrical boxes by thieves on a weekly basis.
The criminals stole about 180 feet of copper wiring. Sold on the street, they can get about five dollars a pound.
APD says there are about two copper thefts reported every day. They set up a metal theft task force that's made seven arrests this month alone.
"This affects small businesses, large businesses, schools and churches," said Yates. "It affects so many people's lives in this community and it's time to stop."
The loss of power had the biggest impact on the kitchen at the church. A generator was brought in to save the food in the refrigerators and workers made sandwiches for program members in the dark.
"It's very frustrating for us, because we are trying to run a facility that takes care of people and the church is trying to run," said executive director of Share Your Care, Nick Pavlakos.
Church members said they are looking into installing a security system and cameras, in hopes it doesn't happen again.