Metal Recyler Says Copper Thief Caught Red-Handed

By Elvira Sakmari
|  Friday, Apr 23, 2010  |  Updated 5:50 PM CDT
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Price of Copper, Metal Thefts Soar

NBCDFW

Gold Metal Recyclers is home to thousands of pounds of copper, surveillance cameras and off-duty police officers.

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Copper Thief Strikes Metal Recycling Warehouse

With copper prices at record highs, copper thefts are on the rise, a Dallas scrap metal business caught a copper thief red-handed.

Price of Copper, Metal Thefts Soar

Most North Texas cities are reporting a dramatic rise in metal theft, despite news laws designed to prevent it.
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The price of copper continues to make copper thefts a lucrative crime, but one Dallas recyler says a thief stole from the wrong scrap-metal warehouse.

Gold Metal Recyclers is home to thousands of pounds of copper. But the warehouse employs surveillance cameras and an off-duty police officer.

Video from the cameras showed the man making several trips into the metal yard to steal copper.

"He waits until our employees are on break, and he scales the fence (and) runs in here real fast," owner Neil Goldberg said. "He'll  grab 30 or 40 pounds of copper, and then he makes a bolt out of here."

Off-duty officers are at the business nearly around the clock. An off-duty officer arrested the man when he returned hours later to allegedly steal more copper, the company said.

"Most people think of us as being part of the problem of the scrap theft," Goldberg said. "Where, we're just like any other business, we have a product and thieves are going to come out and steal it."

In 2007, Texas law made stealing copper a state jail felony no matter the actual value. But law enforcement say it won't deter thieves when copper prices continue to rise.

NBCDFW's Grant Stinchfield contributed to this report.

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