Man arrested after stealing copper pipe from Ann Arbor underground parking lot construction site
A man was arrested Sunday afternoon after walking out of the construction site of the downtown Ann Arbor underground parking garage with three large pieces of copper piping.
Ann Arbor police Lt. Renee Bush said officers were dispatched at 4:30 p.m. Sunday to the area of Fifth Avenue and Liberty Street after a witness reported seeing the man walk into the construction site, go down a ramp and then emerge with three large pipes. The man then hid the pipes in the bushes near Liberty Plaza, according to Bush.
It wasn’t long until police arrived on the scene and made contact with the man. When officers stopped him, he was still carrying a piece of copper in his hand, Bush said. The pieces of copper pipe were between four and five feet in length and between two and three inches in circumference.
The man has an “extensive criminal history” and had outstanding warrants in two counties for liquor possession, traffic violations and driving with a suspended license.
The pieces of pipe were recovered, Bush said.
Bush praised the witness for calling in the crime while it was still in progress, citing the call as the reason police were able to make a quick arrest in the case.
Scrap metal theft has become a large problem in Washtenaw County, affecting towns all across the area. Police officials say unemployment and drug addiction are the major causes of the crimes, which are often at construction sites and abandoned homes but can also be seen in thefts of catalytic converters and other parts from automobiles.