WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) – It’s being called a new kind of theft for our area and it’s costing local businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars. Stateline quarries are being victimized by copper thieves.
“When you've got a series of crime that take place and you’re not able to solve them immediately it’s frustrating for law enforcement,” aid Winnebago County Sheriff Deputy Chief Dominic Iasparro.
He says his agency has been dealing with copper thieves stealing the precious metals from several area quarries. It’s a crime that started happening in our county just over a year ago. Copper wires are being ripped off equipment at quarries in Roscoe, Seward, and just south of Rockford.
Paul Munson works for Northern Illinois Service Company. That’s the business that owns the quarry off of Sandy Hollow Road. Munson says the site has been robbed nearly a dozen times since last march costing owners almost $400,000 in repairs to machines and upgrades to the security system. Munson says every time the place is robbed workers are forced to spend about a week fixing the equipment, and that’s cost the company around three months of lost production.
“It’s tough enough as it is to do what we do,” says Munson. “To have the down time and the loss of production is hurting what we do as a business.”
Investigators believe there are multiple people committing the thefts. Marge Bauch’s quarries have also been robbed. She says it seems like the criminals know what they’re doing.
“They need to know what is “hot wire” and what is not; where they can get hurt and where they cannot.”
The county hasn't made any arrests in the year since these crimes have started. They ask that you call Crime Stoppers at (815) 963-7867.