Thieves steal railings from Del. football stadium

July 22, 2010 3:19:07 PM PDT
Thieves went through a lot of trouble to steal metal they apparently thought would lead to a big payout.

As a result, the stadium at Concord High School is looking a little snaggle-toothed.

The bleacher railings were stolen sometime during the night from the football field at the school in Brandywine Hundred.

Groundskeeper Rick Shanaman made the discovery when he arrived for work at 7:00 a.m. Thursday.

"I looked over and saw something shiny, so I drove around the pole and all of a sudden there they were laying," Shanaman said.

The thieves removed about two dozen railings and fled before their work was complete, leaving several on the ground, waiting to be carted off.

Delaware State Police Corporal Jeff Hale says he's never seen anything quite like this.

"Maybe an air conditioning unit that has the copper tubing attached to it, but I've never heard of anybody coming to a football stadium and stealing the rails out of there," Cpl. Hale said.

There have been problems occasionally with kids partying and leaving behind liquor bottles. But authorities say this work was done by someone with a tool looking to make some money.

"It's most likely the people who steal this metal are looking for aluminum. They send it to a scrap yard and try to get cash for it," said Hale.

The missing railings are valued at between $1,500 and $3,000. At a scrap metal dealer, however, aluminum is going for about 87 cents a pound.

This would seem like a lot work for a little cash.

"You might have a person with a drug habit who's looking to get more money to get more drugs," Hale said.

The school district plans to have the safety railings back in time for the start of the school year.

In the meantime, if anyone can help solve this crime they're urged to call Delaware State Police.