Coppers thieves strike Cobb Co. dentist office twice in one day - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Coppers thieves strike Cobb Co. dentist office twice in one day

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Thieves stole copper from the crawlspace of a dentist office in Cobb County. Thieves stole copper from the crawlspace of a dentist office in Cobb County.
COBB COUNTY, Ga. -

Copper thieves targeted a dentist's office in Cobb County two separate times on Monday.

The unusual day at Dr. Rico Short's office began when worker Casey Horton went to turn on the water and nothing came out.

"So I came outside and walked around the side of the building and I saw there was a ledge where the shingles had been removed," Short said.

Under those shingles is an opening to a crawlspace. It soon became clear that someone had gotten inside to steal the copper piping that provides water and nitrous oxide to Dr. Short's office.

"I'm a root canal specialist," said Short. "You definitely want to have the laughing gas as well. So now, we're out of work."

Another dentist, Dr. James Pitts, owns the building. At about the same time that Casey was figuring out that someone had been in the crawlspace, Pitts noticed a suspicious-looking taxi in the parking lot.

"So I walk down there and I see where the taxi cab driver is backed up to the back of the building," said Pitts. "He and another guy are loading the copper into the back of the taxi."

Pitts then used his truck to block in that taxi so it couldn't move as they waited on police.

"By that time I was really kind of mad about the whole situation, I knew what happened. I told him, ‘Buddy you're in big trouble,'" Pitts said.

Police took one man into custody and let the taxi driver go.

In the crawlspace, authorities found tools as well as soda and cookies, suggesting that the thief had spent hours getting the copper.

After police allowed Pitts to take his copper back, he left it outside the office by a fence. Not long after he left it, he came outside to find that it had already been taken again.

Police are investigating if the thefts are related to a number of other copper thefts in the area.

The dentist office will be closed for several days while the copper is replaced.

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