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Rockwood school admin building without power after thieves steal copper

EUREKA, Mo. – A generator is supplying the administrative center at the Rockwood School District with its only source of electricity after thieves stripped it and made off with more than a thousand dollars’ worth of copper.

“It’s very alarming for the people that found it this morning,” Superintendent Dr. Eric Knost said. “We’re just thankful that nobody was hurt or killed!”

Knost said this was no late-night smash and go. He said the thieves cut the tubing of copper on the light pole, clipped the other half running into the building, and yanked it all out.

“14-inch thick copper, packed inside of that conduit with no room to spare,” Knost said.

With the copper weighing at least 500 pounds, the superintendent believes this had to have been masterminded and carried out by a group of people.

“These were live wires, so this was a well-thought-out plan using the appropriate tool to cut these wires and fish them out of the conduit and get it in a truck or vehicle and get it out of here,” he said.

Eureka police said each piece of copper extends about 30-feet long.

The theft may ultimately result in more than $10,000 worth of damage to the building.

“To get it fixed we have to get parts from out of town,” Knost said.

Even with word of security camera signs posted, Knost is baffled the copper thieves still carried out their master plan.

It’s those same cameras the superintendent is depending on to answer the burning question of who did this.

“We don’t have any direct cameras fixed on this area, but we have some that will catch vehicles coming in and out,” Knost said.

One thing’s for sure – the thieves will have to recycle the copper.

Eureka police suspect the bad guys will likely cut it up into smaller pieces and try to sell it to scrap yards.