Crooks caught climbing onto roofs to steal copper

Scrappers target Tower Center Marketplace on Grand River

DETROIT - Two crooks were caught making their way to the top of a Detroit business' roof to try to steal copper.

It's the Tower Center Marketplace on Grand River, but where are the customers?

"Your customers can't try on clothes -- hot and sweaty," said John Cromer, of Director of Commercial Leasing. "No one feels like shopping or eating, hampers businesses and steal the AC unit."

Even the weave and wig store was empty, but why?

"Scrapers were climbing on our roof at 2, 3 in the a.m. to steal parts from the AC unit," said Cromer. "Air doesn't work."

This is the third time copper thieves have hit the place On June 10, the management had brand new AC units installed, but two days later, the thieves were back, climbing to the roof.

"We put security gates around the unit that didn't stop them," said Cromer. "They ripped right through security gates and still took the unit."

But that didn't stop these guys. They cut right through it, then they cut the Freon line, causing smoke to go everywhere, even whiting out the camera. It cleared and they moved on to the next one. When the duo snagged the parts they wanted, they just tossed them off the building and their dirty work was done.

Three AC units gone in a matter minutes.

"These people do all of this to steal one little part," Cromer said. "From the unit they get $200, but for the management to replace it will be at least $30,000."

And it's costing this mall store owners.

"As a result of it we have businesses like Rainbow, others who have packed up and found cooler spots," said Cromer. "I want them to stop. Get a job but more important, I want the scrapyards to stop taking them from these thieves."

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