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Large copper theft raises residents' concerns

After a huge copper theft ring was busted by Arizona Department of Public Safety investigators in southern Arizona, residents are questioning whether metal theft is decreasing in the Valley.

"It's not getting better," said Sgt. Theresa Clark with Phoenix Police Metal Theft Unit. "It's staying the same right now."

Clark said they have established successful relationships with scrap metal yards, but metal thieves are still finding ways to succeed.

Locally, abandoned or vacant homes are a hot spot for this type of criminal activity.

"Suspects are going in and taking copper out of walls, whether it be pipes or copper wire, they're taking it all," said Clark.

Copper thieves also set their sights on residential and commercial air conditioning units, catalytic converters on cars and even bronze vases at cemeteries.

Clark said it's critical for residents and business owners to be vigilant, secure property and call police if witnessing suspicious activity.

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About the Author


Sandra moved from the small border city of Yuma, Arizona to study Broadcast Journalism at Arizona State University in the late 90s. Since graduating, she's worked at several local TV stations including Univision, Fox 10 and 3TV.

Working at KTAR, has allowed her the opportunity to cover major national news events, including Presidential visits, the Tucson Tragedy and the Wallow fire.

When Sandra isn't covering breaking news or behind a microphone in the studio, she's probably at home with her best friend Mark and her two dogs, Lily and Lola.

Sandra enjoys cooking and admits to enjoying "really bad" reality T.V. She also enjoys spending quiet time at home with people she loves, playing a little poker and traveling.

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