Charleroi offers reward in wake of copper, air conditioner thefts
Inundated by the theft of copper piping and air conditioning units, Charleroi borough announced Friday it is offering a $100 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of such thieves.
Charleroi Borough Manager Donn Henderson said there have been numerous copper and air conditioner thefts in recent months.
In some cases, air conditioning units have been removed from windows when businesses are closed or from vacant homes, Henderson said.
If residents see such items being removed from vacant homes, they are asked to call police immediately, Henderson said. They not to assume people performing work on vacant buildings are legitimate contractors.
Henderson said thieves are especially targeting air conditioning units in the rear of commercial properties. The air conditioning thefts have occurred during warm weather, he said.
“If someone is playing around with an air conditioner in the winter, you'd notice it,” Henderson said.
He said some thieves are hitting homes as soon as they become vacant.
“It's getting to be a real problem,” Henderson said. “People should notice if someone is coming out of a house with copper piping.”
Although Charleroi is a member of a regional police force, the reward is being offered by the borough.
“The borough felt it was important for us to pitch in, because it's most prevalent here,” Henderson said.
The Charleroi thefts are a part of a growing problem.
Donora Mayor John Lignelli said copper theft is especially bad in his community. “We've been hit mostly with copper pipes thefts,” Lignelli said. “That's been in quite a few places.”
Lignelli said thieves have especially targeted abandoned houses, stealing copper water pipes.
Southwest Regional Police Chief John Hartman said he is seeing an ongoing problem with copper pipe thefts in the municipalities his department patrols.
“Pipe (thefts) – that's a continual problem because of the scrap value of copper pipe,” Hartman said. “ ... Anything that has a scrap value, we're seeing an increase in the theft of that.
“People have to realize that something that has a scrap value, if not secured, can be stolen.”
Hartman said “the less people announce that they're not home, the less likelihood they're going to lose something from their home.”
He recommended that, when away, leave a light on at night, secure your home and have a trustworthy neighbor keep an eye on your home.
“Never go on Facebook and announce you're not home,” Hartman said. “Don't post pictures on Facebook of you in Myrtle Beach.”
Hartman said some thieves are selling the scrap metal to obtain money to buy illegal drugs. But others are doing so because they need the money for other purposes.
“We're finding if it has a scrap value, its walking,” Hartman said.
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Police investigating Monessen fight
- Traffic stop in Monessen yields drug charges
- Mother, son share musical talent with Elizabeth Forward band students
- Namath performed in contest at, not against, Monessen
- Belle Vernon Area, teachers reach deal early Tuesday, avoid strike
- Heroin overdoses continue in Mon Valley
- Belle Vernon Area teachers set strike
- Summer break ends as Mon Valley students head back to school
- Heroin suspected in overdose fatality of Fallowfield man, 21
- 5-week event in Donora aims to get ‘Healthy Kids Running’
- Monessen agrees to sale of 2 buildings