Joe P. Asher
Harlan City Police officers are investigating the theft of copper from a building at 120 East Central Street in Harlan. The building has housed former businesses such as Bissell’s, Modern Electric and Santa’s Place.
According to Harlan City Police Cpl. Jeff Owens, the theft took place sometime last weekend.
“Monday morning, myself and Officer (John) Noe received a complaint that the flashing off the side of the old Bissell’s building was missing,” said Owens. “We responded and made contact with Ruby Bennett, the owner of the building… She met us and gave us a key. Once inside the building (we observed) the copper on the floor as well had been stripped out from the inside of the building.”
Owens said many people may have witnessed the theft in progress and not realized what was taking place.
“People in Lou’s Country Kitchen and some witnesses around there said they noticed some young men — they couldn’t identify them — were working on the building over the weekend. They were on the inside,” said Owens.
“It’s still an ongoing investigation,” said Owens. “No arrests have been made at this time. We have some suspects in mind, but we haven’t filed any charges yet.”
Owens said the perpetrators removed the window flashing from inside the building.
“It appears they were in the building and opened up the windows on the second and third floor,” said Owens. “The flashing is right beside the window, so they just reached out and pried the copper flashing off.”
Owens said the nails that held the flashing were found in the roadway below the windows.
“In the building, there were two or three slats of copper still left that they had folded up,” said Owens.
Owens said it is unknown how the building was entered.
“There were no marks on the doors or anything like that,” said Owens. “As of right now we don’t have a point of entry, but it was done from the inside out.”
Owens also said the building’s copper was not all that was taken.
“Within the building there were some miscellaneous items that were stored there that were taken as well,” said Owens. “A grill, an industrial sink, and a big floor safe. Bennett said there was nothing inside it (the safe) and it hadn’t been opened in years, but it was taken as well. We’re still trying to locate those items.”
Owens asks that anyone who witnessed anybody working on the building or prying the copper off the windows to contact him at the Harlan City Police Department at 606-573-1121.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or firstname.lastname@example.org