West Richland Reports Stolen Copper - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

West Richland Reports Stolen Copper

WEST RICHLAND, Wash. - Stolen copper is nothing new but police said they have a warning for residents about a new way thieves are stealing the expensive metal. 

The West Richland Police Chief Layne Erdman said in addition to a number of stolen copper cases, they have also had three heating and air conditioning pumps taken from homes. Two of the homes were under construction and the residents were not home at the third house.

Authorities suspect that the thieves are stealing the heating and air conditioning units for the copper metal inside them.  Copper is expensive and can be sold to scrap yards in exchange for cash.  Police said the money is usually for drugs.  

Chief Erdman said the criminals will steal anything that they believe they can get money for.

Friday night someone tried to break into the Benton Rural Electric Association and police think they were trying to steal copper.  The thieves ripped a whole the metal fence but it did not appear to officials that they stole anything.  Since the attempted break in new lights and added protection has been added to the facility.

Contact police if you have any information.