Macon's holiday cheer filched by copper thieves

Macon TelegraphNovember 4, 2011 

Macon’s traditional downtown Christmas decorations testify through their tatters that the Grinch never sleeps.

When not in use, the brightly-lit toy factory, “countdown to Christmas” sign, sports-playing snowmen and Santa Claus stay in storage at Allied Industrial Park, said Mechel McKinley, Macon Main Street director.

This year, when workers in mid-October went to prepare the 14 ground displays for the holiday show, they discovered that someone had broken into the storage building and stripped copper wiring from all 14, said Wanzina Jackson, director of the city Economic & Community Development Department.

The damage: $6,000.

And for all that, the thief may not have made much more than the price of a hamburger. According to metal merchants Schnitzer Southeast, the kind of copper wire stripped from the decorations would bring just 65 cents per pound.

The theft could have occurred anytime between the end of July and its mid-October discovery, Jackson said.

The Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority lets various organizations store infrequently used items in the building, McKinley said, but it didn’t appear that other property had been damaged.

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