Police meet in Kennewick to discuss rise in copper thefts

<p>Copper</p>

Copper

Police officers from across our region gather in Kennewick today to learn more about how to stop one of the fastest growing crimes in the world - copper theft.

Terry Alling, a federal police officer from San Francisco, held a training session today at the Kennewick Police Department about the rise in crimes.

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that copper thefts cost U.S. consumers $1 billion dollars a year.

Alling says some thieves target agricultural and farming areas because many of those areas have copper sprinklers and long underground wires.

"The price continues to climb. A lot of this stuff gets shipped to China. Copper theft is an epidemic crime. It's one of the fastest growing crimes. 90% of the people that are out here stealing this unfortunately are methamphetamine users" said Alling.

Alling went over the different types of copper that thieves like to steal.

He says officers should build relationships with recyclers, so they know to contact them if they get anything suspicious.