$40,000 loss: Copper thieves hit Lotus park

By From page A1 | February 01, 2013

A large amount of copper wire was stolen from Henningsen Lotus Park over the holidays at large cost to the county.

About 600 feet of copper wire was stolen from the park, said Chuck Harrell, the buildings and grounds superintendent for the county. “It’s a community park, it’s a shame.”

Harrell said the cost to replace the wires, which El Dorado County Sheriff’s Lt. Tim Becker confirmed to be four 350 MCM gauge wires, would be about $40,000. Becker said the labor would be about $10,000.

“That level of damage, it’s sad,” Harrell said. The wire was from the river side of the park, near the ball field. The stadium lights were affected, as were the park bathrooms.

The suspect(s) likely knew what they were doing, Becker said, as reports from the county showed the suspect(s) knew how to turn off vital systems and how to get at the wires.

“There was more than one person,” Harrell speculated. “There had to have been a lookout; it would take a lot of work.”

The county will be forced to replace the wires, but the loss is not only to the county coffers. “It’s one of the nicest resources in terms of parks in the county that everyone uses,” Harrell said. “It’s stupid.”

Cole Mayer

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