Copper thieves hit Temperance Kutner Elementary School

FRESNO, Calif.

With classes set to begin August 20th and teachers returning to campus next week to prepare for the start of school. Workers are rushing to repair air conditioning units as well as electricity to 13 portable units at Temperance Kutner Elementary School.

Kelly Avants said, "It's a disappointment to have to take resources that are already in short supply for our students and take money out of our maintenance fund to repair and replace this wiring."

Clovis Unified Spokesperson Kelly Avants says the copper theft happened sometime Friday night to early Saturday morning. The thieves broke into junction boxes and hopped fences in order to cut copper cables that provide power to the classrooms.

Avants said, "We had some copper wires stolen and others cut, probably in anticipation of coming back."

This isn't the first time copper crooks have targeted Clovis Unified.

Avants said, "I'd say we've had at least a dozen instances in the last year in our district."

In December, thieves hit Buchanan High School wiping out power to the sports complex and forcing students to practice in the dark.

Avants said, "And if they have kids of their own, in essence it's like stealing form their own children."

The district is now taking steps to make it nearly impossible for thieves to strike again, but they want to encourage the community to keep a close eye on their campuses as well.

Avants said, "If you're ever driving by a school site and see something that looks a little off... please do inform police."

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