2014-02-05 / Crime Watch

Scrap-metal thieves undeterred by chilly weather

Michael Buettner

It doesn’t take much skill or time to cut a catalytic converter off a car or strip copper pipes or wires from a home or an air conditioner, but the payoff is big enough to make thefts of these items a near-constant in police reports even when the weather turns icy:

• A heating/air conditioning unit and copper wires were stolen from a bank-owned home in the 9400 block of Lost Forest Drive in the Lost Forest subdivision on Jan. 4.

• Copper wiring was reported stolen from the crawl space of a home under construction in the 16900 block of Wild Senna Place in Magnolia Green on Jan. 7.

• Unknown suspect(s) stole a window air conditioning unit and tried to steal two other units from Faith Temple in the 16600 block of Harrowgate Road on Jan. 19.

• A heating/air conditioning unit and copper wiring were reported stolen on Jan. 24 from a vacant house in the 5900 block of Centralia Road.

• Multiple heating/air conditioning units were reported stolen from the Rivers Bend Apartments in the 12200 block of Stonebridge Lane in Rivers Bend on Jan. 26.

• The catalytic converter was stolen from a vehicle parked at a hotel in the 2100 block of West Hundred Road near the Chester exit off Interstate 95 on Jan. 27.

• Another catalytic converter was reported stolen from a vehicle parked at a hotel in the 12600 block of Chestnut Hill Road, also near the Interstate 95 Chester exit, on Jan. 28.

Catalytic converters contain small amounts of platinum (or a similar precious metal, palladium), which is currently worth almost $1,400 an ounce. High-grade copper is selling for around $3.20 a pound. People who sell goods to scrap dealers don’t get full price, of course, but they can still get $30 or more per converter.

Anyone who has information about these incidents or any other crime is asked to call Crime Solvers at 748-0660. You can also submit a tip at or text WATSON plus your tip to 274637 (CRIMES).

In other crimes:

Adkins Road – Unknown suspect(s) used a brick to shatter the glass front door of Your Store in the 700 block on Jan. 22. Consumable goods and miscellaneous items were reported stolen.

Brandermill (Crosstimbers Court) – A home in the 2500 block was ransacked on Jan. 24 with no signs of forced entry. Cash, jewelry and miscellaneous items were reported stolen.

Brooks Chapel (Ethens Point Lane) – Household goods and miscellaneous items were reported stolen from two houses under construction in the 3600 block on Jan. 8.

Crystal Lake Townhomes (Meadowdale Boulevard) – A resident of the 3200 block saw an unknown suspect rummaging through an unlocked vehicle around 2:10 a.m. on Jan. 27.

• A resident of a unit in the 3200 block who had lost his keys two weeks earlier reported that electronic devices were stolen from his apartment on Jan. 28. A fire in the living room appears to have been accidental.

Hasty Lane Office Park (Hasty Lane) – A gold 2001 Chevrolet pickup truck left unlocked with the key left in the center console was reported stolen on Jan. 24 from the parking lot of a business in the 10800 block. The vehicle was found later inside the county.

Hull Street Road – An unspecified number of unknown suspects carrying firearms entered Papa John’s in the 9800 block around 7:35 p.m. on Jan. 23. They demanded money and left in a vehicle with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Jefferson Davis Highway – The rims and tires were stolen from a vehicle parked at a business in the 9900 block on Jan. 21.

• A driver gave a ride to a hitchhiker in the 11700 block around 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 19 and later discovered that her purse was missing.

• Several doors at Roadrunner Tire in the 9000 block were kicked in on Jan. 25. Nothing was reported stolen from inside the business but tires were stolen from outside.

• A known suspect forced a resident of the Falling Creek Apartments in the 6300 block to hand over cash and electronic devices around 6 p.m. on Jan. 24.

Meridian Watermark Apartments (Flora Springs Lane) – A known suspect took the resident’s keys and entered her apartment in the 6200 block on Jan. 22. Electronic devices and miscellaneous items were reported stolen.

• An unknown suspect knocked on the door of a unit in the 6100 block around 11:55 a.m. on Jan. 24, then kicked the door in. The resident hid in a locked bedroom while the suspect entered the apartment and then left without taking anything.

Newberry Towne (Allandale Drive) – A unit in the 3000 block was entered on Jan. 25 through an unlocked rear window. Cash, clothing, consumable goods, electronic devices and miscellaneous items were reported stolen.

Osborne Road – Unknown suspect(s) fired gunshots into an occupied home in the 2400 block around 4:25 a.m. on Jan. 26.

Parkway Garden Apartments (Strathmore Road) – A moped was reported stolen on Jan. 23 from outside a unit in the 6100 block.

Ruffin Mill Industrial Park (Sabra Way) – Tools were reported stolen from a trailer and a building at a construction site in the 15900 block on Jan. 24.

Timsberry Gardens (Edgewood Drive) – Several unlocked vehicles in the driveway of a home in the 16000 block were entered on Jan. 24. Cash, consumable goods, electronic devices and miscellaneous items were reported stolen.

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