There’s no shortage of copper stealing stories in the news…
Reports abound about bad guys breaking into buildings and ripping off copper from air-conditioning units and the like. The object of the game; raise some quick cash from the resale of the metal to recyclers.
TV news and the Star cover these sort of stories regularly. Just last week for example, the newspaper reported, "Kansas City is taking aim at the thieves who prey on vacant houses and cause thousands of dollars of damage while stealing $50 worth of copper pipe."
But here’s a bizarre, embarrassing story the Star – for some reason or another – forgot to report.
A cadre of thieves broke into the Star‘s abandoned Topsy Building, across the street from the newspaper’s headquarters at 215 East 18th Street, police confirm.
"They took $40,000 worth of copper," says a source. "We had the building for lease, so we’ve gotta put the copper back in there from the water line to the roof."
During the newspaper’s pre-layoffs, hey days, the Topsy brimmed with life. Today it sits empty and sources say the Star is stuck in a long term lease, having swapped it for part of the land its $250 million press sits on.
Not only did thieves pull off the heist under the noses of the Star’s crack security, the caper went on for days!
"They were in there for five or six days is what we figure," says the source. "They shit in the toilets and left it. They drank beer and left the cans. We think it was probably the people that were stripping the (old) press room…Low level workers and laborers."
Since the Star is reportedly trapped in a 99 year lease, it now must replace the copper and pay for the repairs.
"With labor we’re thinking it’s going to run $120,000," the source says.
The good news: "We’re no longer self-insured," says the source.
The bad: "The deductible is like $100,000."
Speaking of beers cans and unflushed toilets, Kansas City Police confirm that DNA was recovered at the crime scene and are awaiting the results.
Stay tuned – who knows? – if they catch somebody the newspaper may even report it!