LA PUENTE — Thieves with a penchant for copper wire have hit five schools in the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District since November.
In an effort to stop the copper culprits, the school district is offering a $2,000 reward and partnered with WeTip. The reward is for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thief or thieves.
District officials think the thieves were hitting campuses after school hours.
Sergio Cazorla, coordinator of risk management for the district, said that typically, school employees would come to work and discover the theft.
He said the estimated damages per school ranged from $5,000 to $15,000. That includes labor, materials and the cost of replacing the copper wire.
“We’re already strapped for cash and for these people to steal copper wire from a school. It’s saddening,” he said.
“We want to put an end to the thefts.”
The unidentified suspects struck at Newton Middle School, 15616 Newton St. in Hacienda Heights, Los Robles Academy, 1530 Ridley Ave. in Hacienda Heights, Cedarlane Academy, 16333 Cedarlane Drive in Hacienda Heights, Sunset Elementary, 800 N. Tonopah Ave. in La Puente.
School Police Chief Anthony Argott said the most recent theft occurred at Orange Grove Middle School on Jan. 3. The school is at 14505 Orange Grove Ave. in Hacienda Heights.
Cazorla said they have no description of the thieves.
“We have no information so we really need (the public’s) help. If they see anything, call WeTip. Help us please,” he said.
Anyone with information is asked to call WeTip at 1-800-78-CRIME. Tips can also be left online at www.WeTip.com
– Ruby Gonzales