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Cracking Down on Metal Theft

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Published on Nov 1, 2012

Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia and Crime Stoppers of Houston are cracking down on metal theft throughout Harris County. It's an epidemic costing government, small businesses and citizens millions throughout the metropolitan area.

One such incident occurred on Monday, September 3, 2012 at 2:15 in the afternoon. Deputies from the Harris County Sheriff's Office responded to a theft call at a warehouse located on the 3400 block of North Sam Houston Parkway. A week later, on September 10, 2012, Deputies responded to a second call at the same location. The suspected thieves are believed to have pushed the air conditioning units off of the roofs of area warehouses, removing the metal coils from the units in the process. The damage done to these businesses is crippling. Each of the units disturbed by the suspects holds an estimated value between $15,000 and $20,000 dollars. This cost of repair far outweighs the reward for suspected thieves. For every dollar worth of metal stolen, crime victims pay up to $25 for repair and replacement.

It's a similar crime occurring throughout Houston and Harris County. The US Department of Energy estimates that metal theft nation wide costs the economy an average of $1 Billion per year. Nation wide, Texas is listed as the second largest victim of metal theft, lead only by Ohio in the number of reported thefts.

Increased security systems, and surveillance equipment are the best defenses against metal theft. Such was the case with the September warehouse thefts. The business was equipped with a surveillance camera capable of capturing the theft in progress.

The suspects are seen climbing down from the roof of the business after throwing an air conditioning unit from the roof. One suspect is seen loading stolen metal equipment into the bed of a green truck, before fleeing the scene.

The first suspect is described as white or Hispanic male, with an average build. At the time of the offense he wore dark shorts, a white t-shirt and a dark colored ball cap. The second suspect is described as a white or Hispanic male, with brown hair and a slender build. At the time of the offense, he wore dark colored shorts and tennis shoes.

Anyone with information about the identity of the suspects is asked to contact Crime Stoppers of Houston at (713) 222-TIPS (8477).

Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for any information called in to the 713-222-TIPS (8477) or submitted online at www.crime-stoppers.org that leads to the filing of felony charges or arrest of the suspects in this case. Tips can also be sent by text message. Text TIP610 plus your tip to CRIMES (274637). All tipsters remain anonymous.

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