Copper thieves target a stretch of Jackson businesses - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Copper thieves target a stretch of Jackson businesses

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By  Julie Straw - bio | email | twitter

 JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Late Thursday night thieves got onto the roof of Cowboy Maloney's Electric City on Interstate 55 Frontage road and other surrounding businesses.  They stripped the copper out of all the air conditioning units.  "They got a grand total of somewhere between $300 to $400 worth of copper.  They did between $50,000 to $75,000 worth of damage to heating and air conditioning systems and of course they got off scott free," said Cowboy Maloney's owner Con Maloney.

Managers at big lots and designer merchandise were not available for comment.  Copper theft in the capitol city has been a problem for years.  WLBT has reported on numerous businesses having to fork over money to fix equipment after it was stripped for its metal.  After thieves targeted the Magnolia Speech School in December 2007, new legislation was introduced to crack down on this type of crime. The law forces scrap metal dealers to maintain a record of all purchases and register with the state.

"Stronger laws are only good as long as they are enforced," said Maloney. "Somewhere, somehow, somebody ought to be figuring out who is buying this copper.  They are the ones who should be going to prison for a long time and give back the $70,000 loss we all got out here."

Jackson Police Officer Joseph Daughtry said law enforcement has to rely on the public to help bring these thieves to justice.  If you have any information about copper theft in your area please call (601) 960-1234.

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