Copper Thieves Disguising Crimes By Appearing Legitimate With Vests, Vehicles

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Copper thieves are trying a new trick in Sacramento where they wear disguises to look like legitimate workers, police say.

A reflective vest is meant to get your attention, and can give the appearance of someone doing legitimate utility work.

But Sacramento Police says some of the vest-wearing people aren’t part of a construction crew, but are instead copper thieves looking to outsmart anyone who could expose them.

“As we continue to put enforcement on them, they are continuing to learn and improve their techniques,” said officer Ken Leonard with the metal-theft task force.

More thieves are being caught wearing safety vests as they steal copper from industrial sites, homes and vacant properties.

“They’re trying to look like someone else, look like a legitimate working person while they are committing their crimes,” he said.

Thieves have even gone so far as to buy white trucks to help make them look even more legitimate.

Police say if it looks suspicious, to keep an eye out for logos on their vest or an ID badge.


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