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Help! A Thief Took My Copper Downspouts

Multiple thefts of metal downspouts reported throughout Easton.

Twice in the last few weeks, we've reported on people being arrested for stealing copper in Easton.

And each time, someone has written to us saying those arrests were just the tip of a copper-piping theft iceberg.

"My house has been hit 4 times in 3 years," wrote College Hill resident John Vanarman, noting that he ultimately recovered some "twisted unusable downspouts." 

Last week, Vanarman also told his story to WFMZ, which noted that the city has 20 open copper theft cases.

Or maybe it's 19. On Saturday, Easton police charged Christian Fielding -- who had already been jailed on previous copper theft charges -- with stealing the downspouts from a home on the 1400 block of Northampton Street on Dec. 12.

A witness who had seen him during the theft identified Fielding, 26, of Phillipsburg, from a photo line-up, police said.

Copper thefts are often done to finance a drug addiction. As the San Francisco Chronicle put it last year:

"For those seeking a quick buck, there is nothing quite like metal. It is virtually everywhere, on buildings and cars and infrastructure like stoplights. Unlike many other types of loot, it can be swiftly rendered untraceable - and still sold for a good price."

In Minnesota last year, a rash of copper thefts, some of which led to fatal explosions, caused U.S. Sen. Amy Kloubachar to lobby for a law that makes taking copper from essential infrastructure a federal crime.

That's according to Minnesota's FOX47 TV station, which said the legislation would require people selling metal to prove they own it or have the authority to sell it.

Kettle man January 08, 2013 at 06:40 PM
LOL... 4 times in 3 years!!! I would have put up galvanized after the first or second! Too funny. Some people just don't get it. He probably could have installed some nice security cameras for that price too. Sometimes it just doesn't pay to be stubborn.
DOCurmudgeon January 08, 2013 at 08:40 PM
Kettle man - Obviously you assume everybody is as stupid as you are. I know that guy and he never replaced copper with copper. People on College Hill are now equipped to handle these assholes. Video & the 2nd amendment are good things.
Tom Coombe January 08, 2013 at 08:43 PM
DOCurmudgeon: I applaud you for coming to your neighbor's defense, but I don't want to see my commenters calling each other stupid.
curious January 08, 2013 at 09:29 PM
According to the article on WFMZ, he did replace copper with copper each time.
gruntled January 09, 2013 at 02:57 AM
I also know him. He never replaced copper with copper. Nowhere in the article does it say that...druggies just kept taking more and more. There's no more to steal.

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