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Rise in Burglaries Partly Attributed to Copper Theft

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) - A rise in burglaries in St. Louis city indicates operations by heroin addicts trying to support their habit, and they’re turning to an unexpected source.

At the St. Louis Police Board meeting Wednesday, police said overall burglaries are up 14 percent, and a higher percentage of those burglaries are coming from the theft of scrap metal.

Twenty-three percent of all burglaries now come from the theft of scrap metal, which is a ten percent increase, though still less than the 45 percent of thefts attributed to electronics. Police say the electronics, such as flat-screen televisions, are then sold in alleyways off the back of pick-up trucks.

Police attribute the rise in scrap metal burglaries to heroin addicts, whom they say are organizing to locate and steal copper from buildings. Evidence of this increased organization includes a suspect police picked up last week with scrap metal who also had a list in his pocket of homes that were being rehabilitated where he could locate and remove copper. Police also say burglars appear to be working normal business hours from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., often entering buildings from side and rear doors.

Copyright KMOX Radio

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