Copper thieves get caught

March 7, 2008 4:08:39 PM PST
Upper Darby Police are cracking down on the illegal copper trade.Action News rode shotgun as Upper Darby police conducted a sting at Accurate Recycling along Baltimore Avenue. Police suspect the recycling, trash and scrap metal business has been paying people cash for stolen copper, aluminum storm doors and other metal items.

"It's kind of like a criminal enterprise. We've had church burglaries, home burglaries of copper, downspouts have been taken. We're like a community in siege," Chief Michael Chitwood of the Upper Darby Police said.

Today's sting was sparked by escalating reports of metal thefts from local homes and businesses and information from David Buckley and William Mahoney who police allegedly caught stealing downspouts from a local church.

The duo reported being able to sell stolen metals to Accurate Recycling. Police allege Accurate Recycling is a hub for receiving stolen property.

This is a repository. This is where they bring it. This is where they get paid for it. If it's worth a thousand dollars, they give them $25,"

Police believe Accurate workers knowingly buy stolen metals. Today the business allegedly purchased various metals along with a large spool of copper that was clearly marked "property of PECO" from an under cover officer.

It was the third such recent police undercover buy.

Police confiscated a handgun from the office.

Two employees were arrested.