'Rash of brass thefts' leads to unsolved copper capers


On the rough and tumble streets of the Minneapolis suburbs, a little brass in pocket can get you some serious coin.

At least that's what the Star Tribune is reporting, as scrappers gather up sprinkler systems, swivels and standpipes, leading to unalloyed consternation from local police department ... er, brass.

Bloomington, Edina, Eden Prairie, St. Louis Park and other cities have reported a rash of brass thefts from parking ramps and buildings with sprinkler systems since late last year, the Star Tribune reports. According to the paper, valves and swivels apparently are being stolen so theives can capitalize on scrap brass prices, which have reporteldy reached $2 per poun.d

Though not exactly pennies from heaven, thieves have made off with 10 valves from an Eden Prairie mall parking ramp valued at $4,000.

But this is serious. Let's get down to brass tacks.

“This can be a life-and-death issue at buildings,” St. Louis Park Fire Marshal Cary Smith told the Strib. “If those caps or plugs are missing, pipes can be plugged with rocks or birds’ nests and ... we might not be able to connect with the [water] system at all.”

Many cases are open--Bloomington has had 15 alone--and even fixtures in churches and schools aren't safe.

This is not, however, a local phenomenon.

The Washington Township Police Department is investigating numerous recent thefts of brass irrigation back-flow valves, reports the South Jersey Times.

And police in Egg Harbor Township, N.J., are investigating the theft of 16 brass grates from various mausoleums at the Laurel Memorial Cemetery, according the local ABC affiliate in Philadelphia.

For the love of Liberace, a cemetery? Guess it goes to show that even when you're dead as a doornail, you better cover your brass.

Next Up

Danielle Hunter

And just like that, the Vikings defense appears fully loaded

The defensive line will likely have four entirely new starters from last year.

Pixabay - black bear

Why conditions in Minnesota are ripe for more bear-human conflicts

A one-two punch of a May frost and dry spell could lead to a natural food shortage.

Minnesota Public Radio MPR

MPR News shakes up its radio schedule, will launch new shows

The changes involve popular hosts Cathy Wurzer, Kerri Miller and Angela Davis.

Wikimedia Commons - Maplewood Mall exterior

Owner of 2 Twin Cities malls files bankruptcy

The group cited the "significant challenges" posed by the pandemic.

blue-green algae mpca

Heat wave leads to early reports of blue-green algae on some Minnesota lakes

The August-like weather could mean a green summer on local lakes.

light rail

Pandemic still significantly impacting Metro Transit ridership

Transit officials said there are signs ridership is slowly rebounding.

Screen Shot 2021-06-15 at 9.06.25 AM

Multi-vehicle crash involving Metro Mobility bus in Andover

One person was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.


Delta variant circulating in Minnesota, health officials urge vaccination

"The unvaccinated are still at risk for the virus – and it has a way of finding the unvaccinated."

delta note plane

Minnesota pilot's pre-pandemic note found on parked plane 435 days later

The pilot thought the plane would only be in storage for two weeks. He was wrong.

Screen Shot 2021-06-15 at 7.12.44 AM

Former KARE 11 reporter claims on live TV that Fox Corp. is 'muzzling her'

She says she'll be leaking audio via Project Veritas, a right-wing activist organization that targets media organizations using sting operations.


Rochester hit with rash of meth-linked scrap metal thefts

Olmstead County Sheriff's Detective Brad Nelson says that scrap metal thefts have "exploded again" in Rochester over the past six months. Nelson estimates that 90 percent of the people involved in scrapping use methamphetamine, and they often have warrants out for their arrest.