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Copper Thieves Targeting DISD Campuses

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Campuses in the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) have been the repeated victims of copper thieves.

The district has suffered thousands of dollars in damage, as a result of the thefts.

"Included in those [thefts] are gonna be some HVAC units," explained DISD police chief Craig Miller. "And two HVAC units were damaged and that's $37,000 apiece, so it gets to be very expensive."

In the month of November alone, copper thieves targeted nine schools.

The school district has released surveillance video from Peeler Elementary School that shows two men removing copper piping from the plumbing system.

Miller said there is a two-prong investigation -- trying to find out who is stealing the copper and also who is buying it. "Recently, there was 200 feet of copper that was taken and there's obviously a market in metal recycling where this product is sold."

Copper theft isn't the only problem facing the Dallas ISD. Over the past month, there have been 41 campus break-ins. Thieves are stealing computers, and other equipment.

During the next month or so, the DISD is taking special steps to guard schools. "Each of the Dallas police department investigative units/substations has a copper metal theft [division] and we're working with them on this," said Miller. "I mean obviously we're gonna have a task force that goes on during the holidays."

Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $5,000 reward for information on the thefts.

Anyone with information is asked to call (877) 373-TIPS or click here to submit a tip online.


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