Copper thief steals from a local nonprofit in Columbus

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – It’s becoming a common crime: copper thefts.

The thieves steal it to get cash from recyclers. A popular target is air conditioning units.

Helping hands went two weeks without air because someone broke a long line of their copper from their AC unit.

Helping Hands Executive Director Jennifer Garrard said she and some of the people on her end of the building realized it was hotter than normal. It wasn’t until the following week on February 27 that she realized that someone had broken a piece connected to their AC unit. That piece was a long strand of copper that has since been replaced.

Garrard said she and her team have been talking with the landlord to come up with strategic ways of not becoming a victim of copper theft again

“Somebody stole our copper as people were having other trouble in the rest of Columbus with their copper being stolen. We realized that our air on this side of the building was not working for about two weeks. It was 80 degrees every day during the warm snap that we had, but one day walking into work we noticed a small copper pipe hanging off the side of the building,” said Garrard. “The landlords are gonna try to enclose the area where it’s going to be harder for somebody to get to it to do this again.”

Garrard encouraged the public to be aware of the growing trend of people stealing copper from their AC units.

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