Police seek copper thieves

Published 10:16 pm Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Suffolk police are searching for a thief or group of thieves that have victimized several businesses on Wilroy Road and Nansemond Parkway recently.

“They’re mainly after copper wire, apparently,” said William Blair. “That’s very high on the junkyard price list.”

Blair Brothers Inc., a construction company owned by the Blair family, was broken into last week and again on Monday. The thieves stole copper radiators, copper lead cables and a chainsaw after cutting padlocks from the door the first night, Blair said.

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They also cut the locks off nine containers looking for more things to steal, but apparently they didn’t find anything they wanted, he said.

“They went by a lot of high-dollar small tools they could have stolen,” he said.

On Monday, Blair replaced the lock on the shop door. The thieves broke in again that night by prying the metal door open with a large crowbar

“They destroyed the door and the frame itself,” Blair said. “They went in and stripped the copper again from my welding machines we just replaced.”

Blair said he knew of several nearby businesses that also had been burglarized.

“They’re really working very, very hard on stealing our copper,” he said. “You’ve worked all your life to provide for your employees. It’s not very nice to go out there in the morning and discover you’ve been burglarized.”

Blair said he hopes publicity about the string of crimes will scare the thieves away.

“If somebody sees a suspicious-looking vehicle, call the police,” he said.

Anyone who has information is asked to call Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP. Callers to Crime Line never have to give their names or appear in court, and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.