Copper thieves strike civic center – twice!

Deidre Cruse, Governmental Reporter

Thieves have stolen outdoor copper heating and cooling fixtures from the back of the Carl F. Grant Civic Center twice in as many weeks, Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso Jr. reported Monday.

“It cost the parish $3,000 to replace it,” he said. “This morning it's gone again. Unbelievable.”

The thief or thieves hit the building over the long weekend of the Martin Luther King holiday, the damage discovered Tuesday (January 18) by Iberville Parks and Recreation Director Mike Markins, Ourso said. IPRD manages the civic center for the parish and maintains its offices there.

A local contractor, Air Control, had replaced the parts by Friday.

Now, it's gone again,” the parish president said. “We've got to build a cage going up the wall. Copper is going for over $3 a pound.”

“That puts me into some caution about other public buildings,” he said. “We need to be very careful. We're talking some major money.”

The Plaquemine Police plan to look at surveillance tapes from Social Security Office across the street, but had no leads in the case, Capt. Kenneth Payne said Tuesday.