Administrators at a Wildomar elementary school were taking steps today to get the air conditioning system functioning again after thieves stole tens of thousands of dollars worth of tubing needed to make it work.
According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, staff at William Collier Elementary School in the 20000 block of Mayhall Drive discovered Thursday that nearly 2,000 feet of copper tubing attached to cooling units atop the building had been ripped out, apparently sometime over Memorial Day weekend.
The theft resulted in roughly $80,000 in damage, according to the Lake Elsinore Unified School District. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the school had an auxiliary system running to keep the facility cool.
Sheriff’s deputies were asking anyone with information to contact the sheriff’s Wildomar station at (951) 245-3343.
In recent years, thieves have targeted fire hydrants, manhole covers, underground street light connections, backflow valves and other devices to steal brass and copper fittings to sell to scrap metal dealers for quick cash.
A bill sponsored by Assemblyman Brian Nestande, R-Palm Desert, proposes to establish a statewide Metal Theft Task Force, which would bolster efforts to crack down on metals-related crime, mainly by ensuring that local jurisdictions have sufficient funds for anti-theft operations and enforcement. The legislation, AB 2313, is currently under review by the state Senate.