Copper thieves strike NLR Salvation Army, leave copper behind

NORTH LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - A Pulaski County organization known for doing good is hit in the worst way after copper thieves strike and leave behind tens of thousands of dollars in damages.

The North Little Rock Salvation Army is the latest victim to what's becoming a growing problem in the city, thieves stripping A/C units of their copper.

Copper thefts are nothing new to North Little Rock. But what sets this one apart is that these thieves left more than just damage behind.

"It's just sad to me that the Salvation Army is in this section of this community attempting to be a beacon of hope, and then someone comes along and does this kind of destruction to the army," said Capt. Roger Glick.

Around three Wednesday morning the army was targeted by thieves looking to make a quick profit.

Copper was what they were looking for. They used a ladder to climb onto the roof and stripped six A/C units. In exchange, they left behind over $50,000 in damages. Their potential profit a mere $400.

"It's just a sad thing because they've affected the people in this neighborhood and that's not good," said Glick.

So after spending all that time stripping the A/C units, the thieves left the most important thing behind: the copper.

"I refer to it as the booty," said Glick. "But this is what they were after. They were after all of this and then these pieces here because there's copper that runs throughout."

The crooks were scared off when a neighbor spotted them, leaving everything behind including their ladder, which police will scan for fingerprints.

"If they'd like to give me a call, they can get their ladder back," said Glick "And I'm certain the North Little Rock police will be pleased to bring the ladder back to them."

But Sgt. Brian Dedrick wants to do more than just give these thieves their ladder. He'd also like to arrest them along with those involved in the city's other copper thefts.

"The problem is it's happening everywhere," said Dedrick.

So far this month there have been 13 reported incidents, over 20 in July.

"The amount is very high, but they're not alone," he said.

And although unsure of how exactly his organization will be affected, Glick says his army will not retreat.

"I don't know what's going to happen. But what I do know is that the Salvation Army is committed to moving forward," he said.

There is no suspect in this case just like in many of the others. Authorities said that copper thefts have been significantly high in North Little Rock this year compared to last.

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