Governor Asks Law Enforcement to Compile Stats on Copper Thefts

JEFFERSON CITY, MO - Governor Blunt is asking state law enforcement agencies to begin tracking incidents of copper theft.

He also commended state senators who plan to hold a series of community meetings around the state to discuss the issue and consider solutions.

Copper theft has increased as the price of many metals, including copper, has jumped because of international demand.  That has led criminals to strip copper wiring from farm equipment, electric utilities, construction sites and vacant houses.

Recently, thieves stole several spools of copper wire from electric cooperative worth an estimated $32,000.

Blunt yesterday asked the Dept. of Public Safety and the State Highway Patrol to compile statistics of reported copper thefts to find where they are happening most frequently.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)