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Thieves targeting school bleachers in Mesa

by Jennifer Thomas

azfamily.com

Posted on August 9, 2010 at 4:51 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 9 at 11:21 PM

MESA, Ariz. -- More than $20,000 worth of stadium bleachers have been stolen from several Mesa schools since May.

There were 14 separate incidents at Mesa and Skyline high schools and Smith, Brimhall and Taylor junior high schools. According to Mesa police, the thefts happened at night.

"We've had copper thefts, now we're dealing with this type of aluminum theft," said Mesa police Sgt. Ed Wessing.

Police don't think it's a prank and believe thieves are stealing the bleachers to be sold for recycling. However, no local metal companies have reported anyone recycling the bleacher material.

Some of the bleacher steps at Mesa High School were stolen and that could pose a problem for the upcoming football season.

Wessing said the school is scrambling to find a vendor that can provide what is needed quick enough to repair the bleachers for football.

Investigators are looking through surveillance video from the schools to try to get a glimpse of who is behind the thefts.

The total loss so far is estimated at more than $20,000.

Police do not have any suspect information at this time. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Mesa Police Department.

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