Thieves steal $30,000 worth of copper from radio towers


Broadcast TowerAbout $30,000 worth of copper was reported stolen from two radio towers in West Palmetto, FL on 3/31, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office said.

Between 2 a.m. and about 5 p.m., a robber or robbers broke a chain that secured a fenced-in radio tower site, pulled back a section of a fence that surrounded two of three towers and stole copper grounding straps.

Sgt. James Andersen said the heist is one of the larger copper thefts the sheriff’s office has investigated.

On Saturday, a worker was dispatched to the site, owned by Clear Channel Media, after a radio station’s signal went dead. It looks like the station was Birach Broadcasting’s Regional Mexican WBRD-AM.

When he arrived, the worker noticed the broken chain and fences.

Andersen said a link was removed from the chain that secured the fenced area.

There were no suspects or witnesses.

The towers in the 900 block of 33rd Street West were not monitored by video surveillance, but workers were going to install cameras, Andersen said.

Investigators did not find any footprints, fingerprints or tire tracks at the scene possibly due to heavy rain showers Saturday afternoon.