Officials launch initiative to stop copper theft - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Officials launch initiative to stop copper theft

Damage left after a copper theft. (source: WMC Action News 5) Damage left after a copper theft. (source: WMC Action News 5)
Tipsters can earn $1,000 for turning in someone who knowingly buys stolen copper. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file) Tipsters can earn $1,000 for turning in someone who knowingly buys stolen copper. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file)
Memphis city leaders announce initiative to curb copper thefts. (source: WMC Action News 5) Memphis city leaders announce initiative to curb copper thefts. (source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) - Copper thieves and the damage they cause are in the spotlight after Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, business owners, and law enforcement launched a bold new initiative Tuesday.

It is called Copperstoppers and is modeled after the Crime Stoppers reward system.

Copperstoppers will pay between $250 to $750 for information that leads to a conviction. Plus, tipsters can earn $1,000 for turning in someone who buys stolen copper.

Danny Quinn manages several homes in Westwood. He says at least half of them have fallen victim to copper thieves.

"This is happening to churches, day cares, small businesses. If you've got copper, they are coming after you," Wharton said Tuesday during the launch of Copperstoppers.

Prosecutors say they will start prosecuting copper thieves more stringently. Meanwhile, Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong says his department will start holding copper thieves responsible for the amount of damage they cause.

"So when someone is sitting at home,and they see someone breaking into the house across the street, they know there is somewhere to turn," Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich said.

Those with information should call 901-528-CASH.

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