Copper thieves hit Campfire

Wichita Falls Police are investigating yet another theft of copper but this time, it happened at the offices of a local non-profit organization.

Police say an air conditioning unit at Campfire was stolen for the copper wiring inside.

While authorities say this is a growing problem, Campfire Executive Director Bettye Ricks says it's an inconvenience that hurts them in the long run.

"This the first time we've had something like this. It's real serious," Ricks says.

Campfire North Texas has been at its Wichita Falls location since 1991.

Ricks does not understand why someone would steal one of the organization's air conditioning units for the cooper.

"We were so disappointed and I even talked to myself today about how disappointed I was that somebody would do that to Campfire or any non- profit especially," Ricks says.

Ricks says Campfire is out more then what the thieves stole.

Ricks says, 'If we have to take funds to fix this then it takes from what we're here to do."

Wichita Falls Police Officer Jeff Hughes says cooper thefts are a problem year round but the crime spikes around the holidays as people find ways to make a quick buck.

"No place is exempted," Hughes says. "It can happen anywhere. Non profits are no exception."

Officer Hughes says the best thing anyone can do is to be aware in hopes of stopping a crime before it happens.

"What we really want to encourage the public to do, if they see somebody snooping around a vacant house or even a building that is unoccupied, go ahead and call that suspicious activity and let us come out and check it out," Hughes says.

Ricks hopes people will go back to a time where people looked over each and their belongings.

"I'm just sorry people don't care anymore about our community and about the children we serve and all those things then to do that to us," Ricks says.

Ricks says estimates the thieves may get $25 for the copper stolen.

WFPD is working with scrap metal processors to identify and report any suspicious activity.

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