Thief breaks into prison to steal copper


    SALISBURY, NC (AP) — Police in a North Carolina town are looking for the rare thief who’s apparently eager to go to prison.

    A spokeswoman for the North Carolina Department of Public Safety said Wednesday that someone broke into the old Rowan unit of the Piedmont Correctional Institution in Salisbury. The thief stripped about $100-worth of copper tubing from an air conditioner and escaped.

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    Workers discovered the dismantled air conditioner Monday morning and called local police. No arrests have yet been made.

    Investigators think the thief scaled an 8-foot fence topped with barbed wire that surrounds the maintenance yard of the minimum-security prison, leaving pieces of insulation on both sides of the barrier.

    Security cameras do not monitor the area where the break-in occurred. Damage to the air conditioner is estimated at $3,000.

    (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)