SPD arrests suspect in string of library, church copper thefts - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

SPD arrests suspect in string of library, church copper thefts

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Richard Hunter, 60, was arrested Sunday morning after police say he was caught stealing another air condition. (Source: Shreveport Police Department) Richard Hunter, 60, was arrested Sunday morning after police say he was caught stealing another air condition. (Source: Shreveport Police Department)
A copper thief destroyed several air condition units in the Mooretown neighborhood of Shreveport. A copper thief destroyed several air condition units in the Mooretown neighborhood of Shreveport.
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

Shreveport police have capped off a series of copper thefts from the air conditioning units of dozens of local churches and businesses in the Mooretown area with the arrest of a suspect.

"Yes, it has been a nightmare trying to keep an air conditioning unit here at this particular location," explained Shreve Memorial Library Ivy spokesperson Ivy Woodard-Latin. Latin said they replaced the air conditioning unit just a few days after the first theft at the Mooretown branch, but that didn't last long. "We installed one one day, and that night it went missing all over again."

The suspect successfully struck three times in all at the library, shutting the power off to the units, removing a few screws and the face plate, and stealing all of the cooper wiring and tubing from the units.

Police had a hunch that the copper thief would be back, so they installed a motion detector that sent out a signal whenever the suspect came back. "Right around 10 a.m. Sunday, I received an alert saying that the equipment that we set in place was triggered," said Shreveport Detective Angie Willhite.

That's whey police say they caught 60-year-old Richard Hunter in the act, and chased him for several blocks until Hunter finally gave up. Detective Willhite says Hunter was interrogated, but described him as uncooperative.

Cooperative or not, he's now behind bars, and that's music to the ears of dozens of businesses in Mooretown.

Hunter is charged with several counts of felony theft. No bond has been set.

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