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Reward! Stop Copper Theft!

May 6, 2015

For more information contact:
Kevin Milosevich,
Chief of Police, Renton Police Department 425-430-7500
Preeti Shridhar, Deputy Public Affairs Administrator 425-430-6569

 City offers $1,000 for information leading to arrest of thieves

 Image credit - Sam_catch

RENTON— In the battle against vandals, the City of Renton announced today a rewards program that will pay $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone caught stealing copper wire and other metals from its facilities.

“The costs of these thefts are substantial and borne by our taxpayers,” said Mayor Denis Law. “By offering cash rewards for tips that lead to arrests and convictions we hope to both identify individuals responsible for these losses and reduce the number of thefts.”

Copper thefts alone in Renton have cost the city more than $88,000 in damages in the past six years.

The most recent theft took place on May 5, at Ron Regis Park in Renton. The city is currently evaluating the total damage of this incident including the amount of wire and the costs for needed repairs. In February this year, thieves stole about 2,000 feet of wire and connectors from Ron Regis Park. The cost of materials alone is $8,000—and this does not include staff time spent with the clean-up and additional reinforcements of the repair. On Christmas day 2014, copper thieves stole hundreds of feet of copper wire cables from the Clam Lights display in Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park, turning the lights out on several sections of the display.

“Another frustration is the fact that there are individuals and dealers who are purchasing these stolen materials,” said Law. “We plan to work with other jurisdictions to identify and prosecute those dealing in stolen metals.”

The Renton police department has several efforts underway to catch the offenders and decrease the thefts in the city. Criminal charges can range from a misdemeanor to felony burglary, depending upon the value of the material and whether the person in possession of the stolen property can be identified as the actual thief. Besides the rewards program, the city is bolstering security and instituting other undisclosed measures to catch thieves.

"As the price of scrap metal, particularly copper, rises, we've seen the number of thefts go up exponentially," said Police Chief Kevin Milosevich. “If you have any information about copper or metal thieves, please contact us and give us a chance to put these criminals where they belong.”

To report suspicious activity or information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of copper and metal thieves call 9-1-1. For more information visit rentonwa.gov.