The Broward Sheriff's Office named Zackie Jerome Knox as a "person of interest" in the case, and detectives are looking for him. Knox was arrested in October for grand theft of a firearm, disorderly conduct, possession of cannabis, and a transportation violation.
Scrap-metal theft has been an ongoing problem; it is simply taking new form. In January, a Palm Beach Post article reported that scrap-metal thieves targeted foreclosed homes. Thieves looted the mostly empty rooms, rummaging for anything metal including electrical wiring, cabinet handles, and even the kitchen sink -- "House stripping," the Post called this practice.
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This same problem costs many businesses tens of thousands of dollars when thieves target the copper wiring in air conditioning units. In cases like these, thieves usually ruin the entire unit to remove the wiring. Last year, police arrested a 25-year-old man who confessed to tearing the wiring from all the business air-conditioning units in the Spencer Square shopping center in West Palm Beach, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
The recession has exacerbated the metal theft problem. Desperate times, very very desperate measures.