Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - Metal thieves have sunk to new depths – they’re striking where families gather for picnics and ball games. The thefts are becoming a costly problem for the city of Syracuse.
Recently, thieves tried to swipe fencing around a public football field at Kirk Park, ruining it in the process. Such incidents ultimately hit city coffers.
“The parks department is going to have to spend thousands of dollars to get this repaired,” said Parks Commissioner Baye Muhammad.
Syracuse Police say such thefts are a growing trend.
“Unfortunately, this is a pattern we’re seeing,” said Syracuse Police Sergeant Tom Connellan. “We had bleachers in the Valley Little League targeted, where they took part of the bleachers, fencing here and fencing at some of the other parks.”
Along with city parks, metal thieves are hitting neighborhoods for metal grates, as well as copper pipes in vacant homes.
“There's been story after story about that. It's a real problem, and we've been working closely with scrap yards,” Connellan said.
Scrap yards are often the first port of call for thieves looking to convert metal into cash, but Syracuse Police say city scrap yards aren't the problem.
“The laws in the city have gotten a lot tighter, unfortunately we feel it is going out of the city and that’s where the loophole is right now,” Connellan said.
Police are asking the public to be vigilant for metal thieves too.
“We need the neighbors to really get involved. If you see something strange going on the parks, call police," Muhammad said.
Anyone with information on scrap metal thefts should call (315) 442-5222.