Police in Rogers will soon have a new tool in their arsenal to fight against a recent rise in copper thefts.
Thanks to a $2,675 donation from the Rogers Lions Club, the Rogers Police Department will soon have a portable multi-camera surveillance system which can be moved to different locations throughout the city to deter criminals.
The surveillance system comes just as the city is experiencing a rash of copper thefts costing area businesses more than $300,000.
According to Rogers Police Chief Jeff Beahen, the thieves are targeting vacant businesses and other locations where copper wiring exists. For example, thieves recently pulled copper wiring out of large light poles located in the parking lot of a former Lowe's retail store. Power transformers have also been a popular target for copper theft.
The new surveillance equipment includes cameras that are motion-activated. The system will be able to detect motion and send a signal to a monitoring company which will then be able to check out the camera images to determine whether criminals are at work.
"I think it's going to make a huge difference," said Beahen. "One of the things about this piece of equipment is it's stealth, we're not going to put a big sign up there saying it's here, so word to the wise ... they're not going to know it's there, and it's going to get us to be able to arrive in hopefully minutes at the scene."
Rogers police have made one arrest in the recent rash of thefts. The department is also working with the Hennepin County Sheriff's Investigative Unit to identify other potential suspects.
Alexandra Renslo reporting
Friday, August 03, 2012