Centralized Vision Camera Monitoring Leads to Copper Theft Arrest at Phoenix Recycling Facility

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After a Centralized Vision technician noticed suspicious activity while monitoring surveillance cameras at a Phoenix recycling facility around 6 p.m. on October 27, 2012, he alerted the Phoenix Police Department about the incident. As the tech zoomed in with the security camera, he noticed the trespasser in the bottom-right corner of the screen was wearing a light-colored bandana over his face and a dark hat while he was removing copper metal from the facility.

At 6:13 p.m., Phoenix Police arrived at the facility and five officers along with a K-9 unit were allowed on the facility’s grounds to look for the suspect. As the officers and K-9 looked for the suspect on foot, camera surveillance showed a Phoenix Police helicopter shining its lights from above trying to find the suspect. At 7:14 p.m., Phoenix Police notified the Centralized Vision technician that the suspect was found and arrested.

Metal theft has become an epidemic in Arizona since the economic downturn started in 2008. Law enforcement agencies blame the trend on a combination of the unemployed seeking items to sell for cash and drug addicts looking to finance their next score. Insurance claims arising from metal thefts rose nationwide by 81 percent during the last three years compared with the number of claims filed from 2007-08, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

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