Thieves Hit Up Homes Still Under Construction - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/27/06-Longview

Thieves Hit Up Homes Still Under Construction

Thieves have hit a string of East Texas homes under construction and it's because of the high price of metal.

It happened in Longview's brand new Mission reek subdivision on Page Road.

Construction workers move fast to get these homes done, but they're having to put in double-time. Building superintendent Jimmy Martin says that's because thieves have stolen copper wiring out of five Conaway homes four times now.  


Martin says every time one of his homes is hit and they steal copper wiring it costs him thousands of dollars and weeks in delay.

Martin says the robbers have taken refrigerant lines, electrical wires, and even coils out of the air conditioning..."to melt down the copper and sell it. I don't think they're getting that much money so it's really like I want to lay a 20 dollar bill, say here take this and leave the copper," says Martin.

But with the metal nearly 3 dollars a pound..."it's quick easy money," says Brian Daugbjerg, manager at Longview Scrap and Metal

He says copper is the most valuable scrap nowadays and they see a lot of it. " It doesn't take long for the word on the street to get around that you know you can fill a five gallon bucket full of copper and have 100/200 dollars," says Daugbjerg.

But in the end Martin says his company and the families shouldn't have to pay the price.  "A lot of people can't move into their homes because these selfish people out here stealing copper, you know it's affecting more people than what they think they are affecting," Martin says.

The company had hired security to patrol throughout the night, but thieves struck in between patrols earlier this week. So now they've hired a foot-patrol officer to guard the homes throughout the night. 

Tracy Watler/Reporting: tracy@kltv.com

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