Copper stolen from new stadium for Sugar Land Skeeters

January 4, 2012 3:08:35 PM PST
With the price of copper continuing to climb, thieves are doing whatever they can to get their hands on it. We've told you before how thieves have destroyed air conditioning units and stolen copper wire out of new homes, but now comes word of a huge theft in Sugar Land.

Thousands of dollars of copper was stolen from a storage unit at the new Sugar Land baseball stadium. Police are looking for the thieves. They made off with 46 reels of copper from the construction site with an estimated worth of nearly $25,000.

Police say an employee arriving for work last Friday discovered reels of copper missing. It had been locked the night before in a storage room on the third floor of the new stadium. Sources with knowledge of the incident say a chain and door were broken as the thieves gained access to that room.

Fans gearing up for the Skeeter's inaugural season say it's disheartening that someone would target the soon to be city-owned stadium before an inning of baseball is ever played.

"It's not hard to believe that it happened, but it's shocking that it happened," said Skeeters fan Don Townsell. "It's terrible."

Investigators are trying to figure out how the thieves were able to remove the reels of copper. They're so heavy it is unlikely anyone was able to steal them without the use of some type of heavy machinery.

Officer Lauren Stockholm with the Sugar Land Police Department, "Most of the thefts that we've encountered have been at construction sites."

Sugar Land police say copper theft has leveled off in the city in recent months. In this case they are looking at whether this could be an inside job.

"They know when the copper is being delivered," Officer Stockholm explained. "They know when it's going to be there when workers are not going to be there.

Constellation Stadium is well over half completed. The $36 million facility will eventually seat more than 6,200 fans. The copper theft is not expected to delay its completion. Opening day is set for April 26.