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Burglars hit construction site
Dec 18, 2012 4:20 pm
A weekend burglary at a Lebanon construction site has set back workers.
Contractors at the site of a new Wilson County Motors location at 905 Hartmann Drive arrived Monday morning to find someone had cut the deadbolt to the trailer and stolen nearly $10,000 worth of copper wire, tools and other valuables, according to contractor Randy Groce, of Groce Electric.
“It was a good little hit,” said Groce. “We probably don’t even know what all they got.”
According to Groce, copper wire – already installed and waiting to be installed – comprised much of what was taken.
“They kind of knew what to cut and what not to cut,” said Groce. “If they had cut the wrong thing, they’d have been in [University Medical Center].”
Workers will now have to reinstall what was cut out, setting them back in their schedule, although not by as much as it could have been. Groce said the workers were ahead to take time off for Christmas.
“We were in real good shape,” said Groce. “We’ll probably have to work a few extra days to get back to where we were.”
Police said the burglary happened sometime between 4 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. Monday.
According to Lebanon police Chief Scott Bowen, copper wiring has become a popular choice for thieves.
“With the price of metal right now, we’ve run into this situation before,” said Bowen. “It’s been a challenge over the past three to five years.”
It’s become such a trend that legislators have enacted new laws making it easier for law enforcement to track scrap metal sales.
“We’ve had them go in and just cut the copper pipe off air conditioning units,” said Bowen.
The hardest part about investigating this type of crime, according to Bowen, is that it’s often difficult to identify the stolen materials.
“The big part is trying to figure out where this stuff ends up,” said Bowen. “Whereever they steal if from is not where they sell it. A lot of times this is a ring of people who go throughout the state.”
According to Groce, there is not much that property owners can do to prevent this type of theft from construction sites.
“You can’t protect it 100 percent of the time,” said Groce.