Franklin police are investigating a brazen copper theft from the property of a local utility company.
Thieves broke into Middle Tennessee Electric early in the morning Oct. 2, and even used the company's own forklift to load up about 18,000 pounds of the precious metal.
"It was well executed. They obviously knew what they were after," said Franklin police spokesman Sgt. Charles Warner.
But police say the crooks also left behind some big clues, including a big hole they cut into the fence surrounding the property.
Investigators are now reviewing surveillance video that shows the thieves driving away in a flatbed truck with $70,000 of copper in tow.
"The material itself, we're talking about 18,000 pounds of copper line we bought last year for a special project," said Middle Tennessee Electric spokesman Josh Clendenen.
Police are hoping someone will help them connect the dots and provide tips about anything suspicious they saw.
"Copper has value across the United States, so whether it's being sold in this market or five states away is really hard to say. And that's what makes this type of crime a little tougher, still solvable, but tougher to solve," Warner said.
Middle Tennessee Electric said the copper is covered by insurance, so co-op members will not have to help cover the cost.
And even though they have surveillance cameras already installed, they plan to put in even more security measures.
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