Sedgwick County is asking for the public’s help in fighting the growing problem of copper thefts.
The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office received 42 copper-specific theft reports between Aug. 15 and the same date last year. Air conditioning units at homes and businesses, copper awnings and parts of agricultural irrigation systems are all targets.
Even local utility substations are drawing copper criminals.
Sheriff’s spokesman David Mattingly says the thefts are causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage and power loss to customers.
Authorities are encouraging the public to call 911 if they see suspicious activity, such as someone backing up to an air conditioning unit or trucks carrying large amounts of copper in their neighborhoods.
Associated Press information from: The Wichita Eagle