Detective Sergeant Danny Moore of the Beaumont ISD Police Department is once again requesting the public’s help in identifying a copper thief or thieves responsible for seven separate incidents of theft at six BISD campuses, the Paul A. Brown Center being hit twice. The most recent school on the long list of BISD campuses struck by copper thieves was Martin Elementary School at 3500 Pine St., which was hit Saturday, Sept. 21, in broad daylight, Moore said.
According to police, surveillance video shows a single culprit described as an “unidentified black male” stealing 20-foot to 40-foot long sections of thick copper cable from the chiller units behind the school and dragging the bits into the woods north of the campus, presumably to a neighborhood where he loaded the material into a vehicle. As in the previous incidents, the man cut the lock securing the gate to the fenced area where the large air conditioning chiller units operate and cut power to the units so as not get shocked when removing the thick copper wire. The man is well covered in the video and appears to know the cameras are in place and recording his actions. Moore said between 200 and 40 feet of wiring was removed, and at approximately $3 per pound, its estimated the thief likely got about $600 for the haul, which reportedly cost BISD thousands of dollars in repairs.
“This is an ongoing problem,” Moore said of the copper thefts. “What we are asking is for the people in the neighborhoods – I know you see things, you hear things. Don’t hesitate to give us a call. … I truly believe that somebody knows something, so we are asking for your help to get this person identified.”
Moore said extra patrols have been assigned throughout Beaumont to watch schools and other at-risk facilities and said he was told Orange County is also assigning additional patrols due to a number of copper thefts there, including the theft at West Orange Elementary School in Pinehurst that occurred sometime over the weekend preceding the week of Monday, Sept. 9.
Theft of copper wire is a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and a $10,000 fine.
Crime Stoppers is offering up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest ad conviction of the thief of thieves responsible for the copper thefts. Call (409) 833- TIPS (8477) and report if you have any information regarding these crimes.