Rotary Pavilion among properties damaged

Christopher Maher, Jim Wells County Correspondent

The San Diego Police Department is asking for the public's help in solving a string of thefts that have occurred in the city in recent months.

Since January, the department has investigated 13 incidents in which copper wires were stolen from buildings in the city.

Sgt. Javier Gutierrez, an investigator with the department, said thieves destroy property to gain access to the wires, which they then steal and sell for scrap.

"I believe they're salvaging it in Corpus (Christi) or locally," Gutierrez said. "It's my understanding that copper is selling for $3 a pound. It adds up."

In one instance, Gutierrez said, the individuals damaged equipment at the Rotary Club Pavilion, located on Dr. E.E. Dunlap Boulevard in the city, and then returned several days later and again vandalized the property.

On April 10, members of the Rotary Club of San Diego reportedly discovered a damaged electrical box on the outside of the building, from which copper wiring had been removed.

When members of the club returned the following week, they found that three air conditioner units located on top of the pavilion had been damaged and several feet of electrical wire had been stolen from the roof. An air conditioner unit at a Boy Scout facility near the pavilion was also vandalized, according to San Diego Police Department reports.

Gutierrez said he believes all 13 of the copper thefts that have occurred in the city this year are the work of the same person or persons.

Anyone with information related to the thefts is asked to contact the San Diego Police Department at 279-2924.