VIDEO: Copper wire thief strikes again at Central Unified school

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's a crime that's played out multiple times on the Central Unified school campus-- a man with bolt cutters loitering in the courtyard waiting for an opportunity to snip wire.

"It's geography, it's rural, especially Central West is in the country, you know, and you could sneak in there at night and really not be detected," said Doreen Watrous, parent.

Parents said they were hardly surprised to learn a thief made off with 75 yards of copper from Central High's West Campus. It's the district's fifth copper theft this school year.

Last year, multiple elementary schools and even the district office were hit.

"We hope the public seeing this guy, paying attention to the way that he walks, what he's wears, those could be telling signs of exactly who he is," said Tony Botti, Fresno County Sheriff's Office.

In the video you can see the suspect working quickly. Deputies believe the man is in his 20's or 30's and is about 5 foot 10.

"It's just a big mess, this is something the taxpayers have to bear the brunt of all because of some thief," said Botti.

The theft not only cut off electricity to two classrooms it cost about $10,000 to fix.

"It's just too bad-- it's wasteful, and then the parents, the district, the kids pay in the end," said Watrous.

Parents said luckily this time the repairs did not interfere with class time but with crucial testing periods coming up. They said this vandalism needs to stop now.

Deputies said the number of copper thefts has actually gone down this year than in the past. Thanks to the decreasing price people are offering to pay for it.
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