Residents upset, concerned over copper thefts

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - An east-side apartment community is scared after being targeted by a copper thief in the middle of the morning yesterday. Residents say they are frustrated--the theft has left all of them without running water for the past day and a half.  One resident FOX 4 spoke to also lost her cable and phone service after someone cut the utility lines in search of copper. The scariest part is that a lot of these people were home when the burglary happened.

"When I was sitting here I noticed my TV went blank and then I was going to make a call to make a refill on my meds. I saw my phone said 'check telephone line' and I couldn't call out," resident Donna Johnson said.

At that same instant yesterday morning Johnson's water also was shut off. Her neighbors' at Brush Creek Village lost their water too.

"At that time I didn't know all of this was connected," Johnson said.

Not until she called maintenance to come check it out.

"They sent someone down here to turn on everyone's water and that's when one of the maintenance men said they noticed the copper was gone," Johnson said.

Someone had broken into the building's basement through a ground-level window, cut a bunch of the utility wires and branch water pipes, then took off with the copper.

"We've had several break-ins before where the perpetrator had taken out the copper out of the units themselves. But this was the basement, so this was a fairly large job," Casey Urso, Brush Creek Village manager said.

According to the management at Brush Creek Village, the difference between this copper theft and past ones is yesterday's occurred in broad daylight. It also happened in a fully occupied building.

"We have gotten a lot of concerns especially with this recent vandalism but we are working hard to up the security," Urso said.

Management said this includes: increasing officer patrols, installing flood lights and maybe even surveillance cameras.

Still, Johnson said enough is enough, this last incident has put over the edge and she's scared for her safety.

"I need to move. I mean if they fix the problem...It’s still going to be up in the air. What if it happens again?" Johnson said.

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