Focus on making stealing less profitable

May 7, 2014 

Stealing is nothing new, but even seasoned law enforcement officers are amazed at how brazen thefts have become.

Copper wire, high-end appliances, even a front door have been stolen from metro-east construction sites. St. Clair County Sheriff Rick Watson said that probably $500,000 worth of items and materials have somehow walked off in the past year.

East St. Louis is among the school districts that have had copper coils stolen from air conditioners on the top of their buildings

When thefts occur, we all end up paying for them, whether through increased insurance premiums or higher taxes.

Where does all this stuff go? Thieves aren't stealing the copper and appliances and doors to use in their own homes; they want to sell the items and make a quick profit. But where are the reclamation yards that are buying? They have to know or at least strongly suspect that the property was stolen. Why aren't they reporting it to the police rather than aiding the criminals?

Law enforcement needs to focus on identifying and shutting down the buyers. Then the stealing will subside.

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