Sheriffs investigate $100,000 copper theft

Approximately 15,000 feet of coated copper wiring was stolen Wednesday evening.
An estimated $100,000 in copper wire was stolen from APAC Industries. APAC Industries is located at 6791 N. Highway VV.

An estimated $100,000 in copper wire was stolen from APAC Industries, according to the Boone County Sheriff’s Department.

Deputies responded to APAC Industries at 6791 N. Highway VV at about 7 a.m. Thursday.

Thieves entered Wednesday evening after the business was closed and stole 45 wooden spools, approximately 15,000 feet, of coated copper wiring. There was no sign of forced entry, according to the Boone County Sheriff’s Department.

The wire, which was kept outside of the business, is believed to have been taken when the thieves entered the property from an adjacent property. There is a gate at the front entrance, but no fence or barrier separating it from the other property, Detective Tom O’Sullivan said.

The building was empty at the time, O’Sullivan said. He said he could not comment on if the building has security cameras.

O’Sullivan said in the last six months, there have been about a dozen reports of copper theft, an increase from past years.

“Copper is fetching a pretty good price these days, and these thieves know it,” he said. “Vacant buildings, construction sights, construction companies, public utility sights. They’re stealing it and taking it to recycling facilities for cash.”

Mark Robinett, who works in business development with New World Recycling, said copper sells for $1.20 to $2.95 per pound. He said the price depends on the size, clarity and grade of the copper. For example, he said an extension cord would likely be worth $1.20, where a thick, stripped wire would be worth $2.95.

O’Sullivan said it could be difficult to match the stolen copper with the owners.

“In some incidents copper has some markings that the owner can identify, but a lot of other times it all looks the same so you can’t tell if it’s yours or not,” he said.

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