Copper thieves cut power to school surveillance system

As luck would have it, thieves stripping copper wires from Kingswood Elementary last weekend managed to cut the juice to the school's surveillance system.

"Lucky for them," lamented Robert Lewis, scheduling supervisor for San Juan Unified School District's maintenance and operations department. "Not our luck."

Left with no leads and a $3,500 bill, San Juan officials can only brace for the next in a series of copper thefts that has cost the district almost $150,000 in about a month.

At $3 a foot, the copper electrical wiring is an enticing commodity for thieves who have risked electrocution in the wee hours of the morning for their valuable loot. So far this summer, vandals have targeted five campuses.

El Camino High School was their first and most lucrative hit: 2,400 feet of copper that could have fetched up to $7,200 at scrap metal yards.

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