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Police on the lookout for copper thieves

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By Mark Scohier, Staff writer

A recent spate of copper thefts from air conditioning units in Chiefland has police scratching their heads.
"So far, we've had no luck," said Chiefland Police Deputy Chief Al Graves Friday about 13 thefts from homes, churches and businesses that started mid-March.
The latest thefts, according to police, happened on May 19 and involved stolen copper from units at two businesses and one home, all on the north side of town.
"It's frustrating," Graves said, adding that it's been hard to find a pattern in the crimes, which, early on, were concentrated on the south end of town.
Graves said he believes the thefts, now "well into the thousands (of dollars)," are connected and that the crimes may involve a two-person team who mostly operate in the early morning hours after midnight.
"And I think they're getting better and faster," Graves said, adding that the culprits manage to disconnect the copper tubing and fittings within minutes.
Though police are sketchy on the details, Graves said there's some indication to believe the thieves may be using a white pickup truck and may also be connected to recent thefts in Gilchrist County.
Anyone noticing suspicious activity or who may have information on the thefts is urged to call the Chiefland Police Department at 493-6777 or the Levy County Sheriff's Office at 486-5111.