Thieves boost thousands in copper and tools in two Capitol Hill construction rip-offs

Police say more than $14,000 worth of tools and materials were stolen from two Capitol Hill construction sites within a half-mile of each other earlier this month.

According to the SPD report on the largest of the two heists, somebody boosted between $10,000 and $15,000 worth of copper pipe in a May 3rd weekend burglar at the construction site at E Pike and Bellevue where the new Northwest School gym in being built:

Workers checking the area found several pieces of pipe at the top of a concrete access well along the front of the building at the site entrance in the 1400 BLK of Bellevue AV.

The access well goes down about two stories. A ladder is in the well to allow access to the basement. It appeared unknown parties had carried the pipe from the basement up the ladder to the ground level outside the building. From there it appeared to have been carried across the cyclone construction fence to a waiting vehicle in the 1400 BLK of Bellevue AV.

There was no video surveillance monitoring the area at the time of the theft, according to police.

Screen shot 2013-05-15 at 11.28.23 AMMore is known about the suspects in the other, smaller heist involving about $4,000 worth of tools stolen from the E Olive Way site of construction on the 6-story mixed-use project that will replace the old B&O Espresso building.

Workers arrived to find a locked 24″ x 32″ x 36″ metal box that had been bolted to the ground had been removed along with thousands of dollars worth of tools inside.

A neighbor who lives nearby told police he saw a man shut the chain link fence and join a group of men waiting around a truck outside the construction site just before 3 AM on Sunday, May 5th. The neighbor said the man had brown hair and was wearing jeans and a white jacket. He was carrying a messenger bag and had on “red music headphones,” according to the witness.

According to the neighbor, the four or five men carried the large tool box and placed it in the back of an orange or red Ford F150 truck. He noticed that the man with the headphones left a lanyard of keys hanging on the inside of the chain link fence. Surmising that the men must be security for the site, the witness said he did not call police.

Police cataloged the missing tools — “sawzalls, right angle drills, and rotohammers” — and took the lanyard into evidence. The officer also advised the witness that if he saw any more activity at the site before 6 AM, to call police.

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One thought on “Thieves boost thousands in copper and tools in two Capitol Hill construction rip-offs

  1. How is it that they can still then go sell that copper I thought the recyclers had to track that stuff now. They need to put a stop to the ability to sell copper like that to dealers for cash. That would help end all these thefts.