Written by Don Ratzlaff Tuesday, 08 May 2012 14:48
One or more thieves broke into the City of Hillsboro shop this weekend, loaded copper wire and specialized electrical equipment onto a 2003 city-owned pickup truck parked inside the shop and drove off.
Hillsboro Police Chief Dan Kinning said the incident appears to have taken place sometime Saturday night. It was discovered Sunday.
At press time Monday, neither the vehicle nor its contents had been recovered.
City staff worked Monday to determine what was taken, but a monetary value has not yet been established.
“We’re thinking they found enough wire that they needed a city truck to haul it away,” Kinning said.
Copper theft has been a growing crime across the state, he added.
“The laws in Kansas have changed on that issue, and we’re sending the information statewide, hoping that copper dealers will be on alert,” Kinning said Monday morning.
Evidence indicates the thief or thieves cut the chain that locks the front gate, but City Administrator Larry Paine said it’s not clear how the perpetrators entered the shop.
“There’s no sign of a break-in,” Paine said, “but they got in there somehow.”
He said the estimated losses will be covered by insurance, but that doesn’t mean the city will bear no expense.
“The thing is you’re not going to go out and buy a replacement for a 2003 pickup truck,” Paine said.
“It was getting close to its replacement cycle anyway. Those are things that cost you more money.”
The pickup, with the city logo on each door, is easily identifiable, he said.