Copper thieves strike Minneapolis fire museum |

Copper thieves strike Minneapolis fire museum |

MINNEAPOLIS — The theft of copper is on the rise according to police. One of the latest targets is the Firefighters Hall and Museum in Minneapolis.

A museum trustee noticed missing condenser coils in their damaged HVAC units while he was checking a possible ice dam situation on the building’s roof.

They believe the theft happened by climbing a ladder one late February night. Trustee Jean Kidd says it would cost over $16,000 to repair their two units. Instead, they have chosen to buy a pair of new units for $13,000. The worth of the stolen copper, is a small fraction of that.

“It’s a huge loss for our museum,” Kidd said. “Obviously they scoped out our unit. I can’t imagine we’ll be an isolated case.”

Minneapolis police say copper theft is on the rise for commercial and especially residential properties. They say everyone is susceptible, including abandoned and foreclosed homes.

“That same effort would yield more money if they just bought a rake and shovel,” resident Steve Murphy said. “It’s not hard to find something to do for money.”

The museum expects their insurance to rise because of this incident. They said insurance will cover some but not all the costs.

“You feel violated, you really do feel violated,” Volunteer Steve Skaar said. “A lot of people have spent a lot of time volunteering their hours. This is a special place.”

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