Copper thieves strike Kenny

Southwest residents should be on the lookout for copper thieves clipping ground wires from power-line poles.

Xcel Energy recently reported that someone had cut about six feet of grounding wire from an alleyway pole in the Kenny neighborhood. That comes on the heels of police notifications earlier this month of similar activity in Kingfield near 38th Street and Pleasant Avenue South.

Stealing grounding wires "is an isolated thing," said Tom Thompson, a crime prevention specialist for Kingfield and other Southwest neighborhoods. He added, though, that thieves are consistently taking copper piping and other valuable materials from abandoned or vacant houses.

Missing grounding wires won’t interrupt power and won’t make power-line poles unsafe, but could cause problems during storms, Thompson said.

Dramatic increases in the value of copper and other building materials in recent years have led to similar thefts citywide. Thieves typically sell the materials to recycling centers.

Residents who see any thefts should call 911. For questions or more information, contact Thompson at 673-2823 or [email protected]