Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

With metal thefts surging, Clearwater police plan crackdown

CLEARWATER — Metal thefts more than doubled in the past year and have increased five-fold since 2009, police said Wednesday.

The surge has prompted changes in the way metals can be bought and sold.

Anyone spotted with large amounts of metal will have to explain where it came from, police said.

Thieves targeting valuable metals have left thousands of dollars in damage in their wake.

Thieves have targeted metal in a wide variety of forms, including air conditioning units for copper parts, storm gates, scrap aluminum, metal water meter pieces, copper plumbing and copper rolls, police said.

And it's not just Clearwater. This uptick in metal thievery has been widespread throughout the Tampa Bay area.

Clearwater police plan to target vehicles carrying large loads of metal. The metal could be seized if the owner cannot explain where it came from, police said. The owner also could be charged with unlawful appropriation of lost or stolen property, said police spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts.

"If you're toting a large load of metal or air conditioning parts in your vehicle and you're headed to a recycling center, you better be able to tell us how you got it and from where," said police chief Anthony Holloway in a prepared statement. "We see too many people who cannot account for their metal cargo and that is no longer an acceptable excuse."

With metal thefts surging, Clearwater police plan crackdown 10/19/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 9:48am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Cubs down Dodgers 3-2; force NLCS Game 5 Thursday


    CHICAGO — Javier Baez snapped an 0-for-20 skid with two home runs, former Ray Wade Davis hung on for a six-out save and the Cubs avoided a sweep, holding off the Dodgers 3-2 Wednesday night in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series.

  2. One of the best places for investing in a rental house is in Tampa Bay

    Real Estate

    Two Tampa Bay ZIP Codes are drawing national attention.

    . If you're looking to invest in a house to rent out, few places are better than  ZIP Code 34607 in Hernando County's Spring Hill area, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.
 file photo]

  3. Bucs' Vernon Hargreaves: 'I'm not making any plays'


    TAMPA — Eli Manning gathered his receivers together on the sideline during the Giants' Week 4 game against the Bucs and told them he planned to target the weakest link of the secondary all afternoon.

    Patriots receiver Chris Hogan gets position in front of Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves for a 5-yard touchdown pass in New England’s win on Oct. 5.
  4. Suspect in Maryland office park shooting is apprehended


    EDGEWOOD, Md. — A man with a lengthy criminal past who was fired from a job earlier this year for punching a colleague showed up for work at a countertop company on Wednesday and shot five of his co-workers has been arrested, authorities said. Three of them were killed and two critically wounded.

    Harford County, Md., Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler shows a picture of Radee Labeeb Prince, the suspect in the workplace shootings.
  5. Lightning's J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer raise his first as a protest during the national anthem before games.

    J.T. Brown says he will work more with the Tampa police and groups that serve at-risk young people.