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Police check building in Hagerstown, find no intruder

September 28, 2011|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com
  • Police checked out the former Noland building on Virginia Avenue in Hagerstown, but found no intruder.
By Dan Dearth

Hagerstown police officers Wednesday rushed to the scene of a possible breaking and entering call at a vacant building near the Virginia Avenue overpass, but they left when nothing turned up.

Sgt. Eric Knode said that no one was found inside the building at 1016 Virginia Ave. following a search at about 9:30 a.m.

"We received a call of two subjects possibly breaking into the old Noland Co.," Knode said. "The caller thought maybe they might be in here to steal copper .... We saw some windows broken out. We checked the building and didn't locate anybody or anything inside."

Local law-enforcement agencies have been battling copper thieves for a number of months.

Lt. Mark Knight of the Washington County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday that thieves have gone as far as stealing metal from air conditioners on the roofs of commercial buildings.

The sheriff's office also has reported that thieves have cut metal from air conditioners at churches and private residences.

Hagerstown Police Chief Arthur Smith said police have taken the recent rash of copper thefts very seriously.

"If we capture those guys in the act, we may save ourselves 10 or 12 crimes down the road," Smith said.

He said police recently conducted surveillance on the former Giant Eagle property off Pennsylvania Avenue after there was evidence that someone tampered with the air conditioner on top of the building. No one returned to the scene.

"They can ruin an expensive piece of equipment for a few dollars of metal," Smith said.

He said the building that police searched Wednesday is a vacant warehouse.

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