Police say man caught 100 feet in air stealing copper plates from cell phone tower
Thieves determined to reap value from scrap metal have pried storm grates from streets, sliced catalytic converters from cars and trucks and stripped copper downspouts from churches.
Now they've sunk to new depths - or reached new heights, depending on your view.
Lakeville Police Chief Frank Alvilhiera said police who went to a Verizon cell tower off Route 140 earlier this month found a man attempting to steal copper plates used to ground the towers during lightning strikes.
"The officers reported that he was over 100 feet above ground," said Alvilhiera. "This is the first time we have had a theft from a cell tower that I can recall. This has been the trend with copper prices high. Thefts are on the rise everywhere."
In fact, cell towers have been targeted by copper thieves around the country:
In Spartanburg County, S.C., copper has been stolen from seven cell towers this summer, including from four AT&T towers on a single day in July. Police said the rise in thefts may have been prompted by a new law to take effect later this month that will require anyone selling copper to obtain a permit from the county sheriff.