ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) — Copper thieves have caused more than $1 million in damage to Atlanta parks over the past two years.
The thieves have been pulling out copper pipes inside walls, electrical wiring from lights, taking out air conditioning units and destroying pool packs.
“It’s rare a month goes by where we don’t have an incident,” George Dusenbury, commissioner for the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, told CBS Atlanta. The parks department is in charge of over 100 buildings and two dozen parks.
The department has been working with the Atlanta Police Department’s precious metals task force.
“As the recycling market heats up, copper thefts have picked up,” Dusenbury said.
One person has been arrested after being caught on a roof of a soon-to-be demolished building with stolen copper pipes, but many more thieves are believed to still be out there.
“It’s an extremely frustrating problem to deal with,” Dusenbury told CBS Atlanta. “We’re out there trying to serve the community.”