Police seek public's help in finding copper thieves

5:59 AM, Apr 2, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - The Minneapolis Police Department is seeking the public's help in hopes of curbing recent copper thefts at vacant and abandoned properties in northwest Minneapolis.

Police say that thieves are targeting abandoned properties and removing the copper pipes and wires from the buildings. The copper is then sold to recyclers and scrap yards for cash.

Once the copper has been removed, police say it's hard to prove where it was taken from, which makes prosecuting thieves very difficult.

There is also a risk to the public because when copper is removed, it's possible for thieves to damage gas lines.

Police are asking the public to call 911 if they see any suspicious activity near vacant or abandoned homes.

In addition, they are asking for residents to watch for an older model white van with sliding side doors that has been seen in the Near North Neighborhood.

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