Copper stolen again?

14th Police District in Philadelphia

43 W. Haines Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144

This district covers Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, Cedarbrook, and part West Oak Lane, and Germantown.

This list covers August 3 – August 9




Local copper theft part of a much bigger problem

On Aug 9, 2011 thieves stole 30 feet of a copper wire from the 7300 block of N. 20th St. The 14th Police District sees about two or three reported copper thefts per-week. These are recent copper thefts all in the 14th District. 

7/26/11 – Unit block E. Johnson St – Copper pipes were stolen.

7/20/11 – 200 block W. Haines St – Copper wire was stolen from home under renovation. 

7/19/11 – 1100 block E. Price St. – Attempted theft of copper pipes from a foreclosed home. Cops caught this guy in the act. 

7/19/11 – 6800 block Chew Ave. – Copper pipes were stolen.

7/19/11 – 6600 block Ross St. – Copper pipes were stolen.

7/17/11 – 6700 block Woolston Ave. – Copper pipes were stolen from a vacant home.

What’s driving this?

Copper theft has long been a problem but the rising price for this metal has led to more problems. In 2006 copper sold for around $2 per pound but this year it topped $4. The FBI stated in a 2008 report that copper theft was so widespread in the U.S. that it poses a threat to our infrastructure.

Copper thieves are threatening US critical infrastructure by targeting electrical sub-stations, cellular towers, telephone land lines, railroads, water wells, construction sites, and vacant homes for lucrative profits.

To illustrate the potential danger a copper theft created the report cites an incident from Jackson, Mississippi: Five tornado warning sirens did not warn residents of an approaching tornado because copper thieves had stripped the sirens of copper wiring, thus rendering them inoperable.

The FBI says that thieves typically sell their copper to recyclers who then resell it scrap metal collectors. The next stop is often a big smelter and the copper is reborn shiny new for use in the U.S. or increasingly in the growing economies of India and China. The FBI outlook for copper thefts is grim. The report states that it only expect copper demand to rise in the years ahead.

A website called has a metals value calculator. If its calculations are correct, it says that a penny is worth twice as much melted down. So technically speaking a thief could save up his pennies and double his money. 




August 3, 2011

1600 block Walnut Lane – T- Mobile cell phone stolen from a 1994 Lincoln Continental.

1300 block E. Tulpehocken St. – complainant said a known offender choked and punched her. Complainant said she fractured her right hand after hitting the offender. Complainant went to the hospital.

7700 block Temple Road – three ton condenser unit stolen from the property.

Unit block E. Wister St. – complainant said a known offender stabbed him in the arms and neck with a small knife. Offender was gone before police arrived. Complainant taken to the hospital and was listed in stable condition.

5900 block Germantown Ave. – complainant said someone robbed her at gunpoint. Offender ran off with a wallet, PA ID, $60, bank card and an SS card.

Cedarbrook Ave. / Wadsworth Ave. – 2006 Lincoln Zephyr was stolen.

200 block E. Willow Grove Ave. – complainant, employee at Mom’s Pizza, said a man robbed the store at gunpoint. She said the offender entered just before closing at around 6:53 p.m. and told her to “put the money in the bag”. Complainant handed over approx. $265 from the register. Offender then fled the scene.


August 4, 2011

7500 block Limekiln Pike – 9mm handgun stolen from the trunk of a 2000 Acura TL.

5200 block Wakefield St. – handgun stolen from the property.

700 block E. Woodlawn St. – Toshiba laptop, prescription Percocet, Xanax and $105 in cash stolen from the property.

8100 block Ardleigh St. – blue and purple bike stolen from the property. Complainant said the bike was stolen from his porch.


August 5, 2011

300 block E. Cliveden St. – 65″ flat screen TV, three watches, HP laptop, diamond ring and $100 in coins stolen from the property between 9:30 p.m. Aug. 4 and 6:50 a.m. August 5.

5400 block Lena St. – 1993 Mercury Grand Marquis stolen.

6200 block Gardenia St. – Wii game system stolen from the property. Complainant said she noticed the item was missing after an argument with her boyfriend.

6600 block Crowson St. – HP desktop, two Sony TVs, Sony stereo and speaks stolen from the property. Complainant said he was away on vacation at the time.

Unit block W. Durham St. – Garmin GPS was stolen from a 2006 Chevy Aveo.

Unit block W. Pomona St. – 19″ TV and a Wii game system stolen from the property.

7100 block Chew St. – owner manual and radio/CD player stolen from a 202 Mitsubishi mirage between 5:45 p.m. Aug. 4 and 8 a.m. Aug. 5.

1600 block Woodbrook Lane – four Coach bags stolen from the property. Complainant said she was on vacation at the time.

Unit block Roumfort Road – 22″ chrome rims, table saw and two bins of clothes were stolen from the property.

7700 block Cherokee St. – motorcycle ramp stolen from the property.


August 6, 2011

7100 block Stenton Ave. – complainant said he was robbed at gunpoint. Offender ran off with a black bag and a passport.

900 block Vernon Road – complainant said someone shot him in the hand with a BB gun. Complainant was taken to the hospital.

200 block Armstrong St. – 42″ Panasonic TV stolen from the property between 9 p.m. Aug. 5 and 6 a.m. Aug. 6. There were no signs of a forced entry.

Unit block W. Washington Lane – costume jewelry and cash stolen from the property between 2-6 p.m. Aug. 6.

Unit block Carpenter Lane – 2004 Toyota Camry stolen between 3 p.m. Aug. 5 and 4 p.m. Aug. 6.

100 block W. Chelten Ave. – complainant said a group of men mugged him. He said they stole his cell phone and back pack after punching and kicking him.

100 block W. Penn St. – 2002 Mercury Sable stolen between 6 p.m. Aug. 5 and 4:24 a.m. August 6.

5900 block Germantown Ave. – complainant said she was raped by a known acquaintance.

8100 block Ardleigh St. – Toshiba laptop stolen from the property between 8:15 a.m. Aug. 4 and 12 p.m. Aug. 6.

Germantown Ave. / Rex Ave. – 1997 Ford Escort was stolen. Complainant said the keys were still inside the car at the time.

8300 block Michener Ave. – two TVs, two computers, 25 CDs, a bottle of champagne and more stolen from the property between 6 a.m. Aug. 5 and 3 a.m. Aug. 6.


August 7, 2011

1300 block Barringer St. – Kodak camera, 20 used DVDs and two bottles of champagne were stolen from the property.

Unit block E. School House Lane – Kodak camera, Dell laptop, CDs and various clothing stolen from a 2005 Chevy Malibu between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Aug. 7.

5400 block Germantown Ave. – leather wallet, $300 in cash, driver’s license, social security card and credit cards stolen from the property.

300 block Pelham Road – mountain bike and helmet stolen from the porch of the property.

200 block W. Hortter St. – 1997 Oldsmobile Century stolen.

900 block Plainfield St. – purse containing ATM card, medical card and more stolen from a 2004 Acura MDX.


August 8, 2011

Church Lane / E. Wister St. – complainant said his ex-girlfriend and another female punched and smacked him before stealing his bag. Complainant said the offenders then threatened his mother over the phone. Complainant’s bag contained a cell phone, house keys and $200 in cash.

1900 block 74th St. – complainant said known offender punched him in the eye.

5800 block McMahon Ave. – complainant said a known offender sprayed her with pepper spray during a dispute.

300 block E. Rittenhouse St. – 2000 Chevy Impala stolen, but recovered prior to police report.

6100 block McCallum St. – radio system stolen from a 2007 Chevrolet.

5400 block Wayne Ave. – complainant said a man stole her purse and $250 in cash. She said she had a friend over August 2 and that the bag and the money were gone the following day.

Unit block W. Chelten Ave. – complainant said a known offender punched her twice in the face, breaking her jaw in three places. Complainant took herself to the hospital.

Stenton Ave. / E. Willow Grove Ave. – 2005 Chevy G1500 was stolen. Complainant said he left the car at the location after he was having trouble with its battery. He said the vehicle was gone the following morning.

900 block Plainfield St. – gas grill tubing and a gas tank stolen from the property. There were no signs of a forced entry.


August 9, 2011

900 block Woodlawn St. – 2005 Cadillac Escalade stolen.

1800 block Mohican St. – complainant said a man pointed a gun at her after a dispute. She said the offender was gone when police arrived.

1300 block E. Upsal St. – 2001 Cadillac Seville stolen.

7300 block N. 20th St. – 30 feet of copper, floor fan and hedge trimmers stolen from the property.

6500 block N. Beechwood St. – 1999 Toyota Corolla stolen.

4600 block Germantown Ave. – GPS, CDs and phone charger stolen from a 1993 Saturn.

5900 block Magnolia St. – complainant said three men forced their way into her home and stole two cell phones at $30 in cash. Two of the offenders were armed. Complainant said her nephew was pistol whipped during the incident after he tried to fight the trio. The offenders fled. Witness was taken to the hospital.

6600 block Germantown Ave. – complainant said a former friend hit him with an umbrella during a dispute. Complainant went to the hospital for a gash on his hand. Offender fled the scene with complainant’s cell phone.

Unit block E. Earlham St. – complainant said someone stole $1,000 from the property. There were no signs of a forced entry.

5800 block Marion St. – 2001 Hyundai Elantra stolen. Complainant said the car was at “Dan’s Auto Body” at the time.

8100 block Ardleigh St. – black mountain bike was stolen from the location.

7200 block Devon St. – complainant said a known offender pointed a rifle at him during a dispute.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal