Copper Thieves Hit West Virginia Tower Site

Metal values drive burglaries

WOWK-TV in Huntington, W.V. reported that nearly $40,000 worth of copper piping were stolen from a local TV tower site. The site belongs to Clear Channel Communications, which was hit for about $7,000 worth, according to WOWK. Another tower occupant, Daystar Television, was relieved of copper pipe valued at nearly $30,000. (The values were reported to be $8,000 and $1,200 consecutively in the local Herald-Dispatch police blotter.)

Copper theft has increased across the country as the price of precious metals soar. Spot prices have been holding between $3 and $4 most of the year, up from less than a dollar five years ago, and $2 in 2006. Hoak Media“s NBC affiliate KVLY-TV in Fargo reported a nearby TV tower site theft of copper valued at $18,000. (Many stations have transmitter located at the site, near Amenia, N.D. KVLY didn“t indicate which Fargo station was hit.)

Broadcast towers aren“t the only targets. Reported hits include water heaters, air conditioning units, utilities, freeway lights, cell-phone tower sites, and abandon buildings, including one where the City of Downey, Calif., was constructing its Rose Parade float, according to an April article in the Downey Patriot.