West Ipswich resident Jan Walker was disgusted someone stole copper piping from her house. Photo: David Nielsen
West Ipswich resident Jan Walker was disgusted someone stole copper piping from her house. Photo: David Nielsen

Low blow in copper pipe heist

JAN WALKER’S family home is an abject skeleton of its former self; its interior stripped down to the frame following the devastation of the floods.

To the casual observer it would appear that there was nothing of value left in the West Ipswich residence, but to at least one crook there was one thing that Ms Walker left open to theft.

Upon returning to her home for an appointment with an electrician on Wednesday, Ms Walker realised that 40m of copper pipe had been stripped from the walls.

It’s another cruel blow for the flood victim, who was not covered by insurance but was still hoping to rebuild.

“It must have happened in the last week,” she said.

“When I realised what they’d taken I couldn’t believe it; it’s the last thing you expect.”

Floodwaters from the Bremer River almost reached the ceiling of Ms Walker’s home on Keogh Street.

The family had just completed renovations.

“Although we were technically not covered for the flood, we are hopeful our insurer will help us through compassionate payments,” Ms Walker said.

Ipswich District crime manager Acting Senior Sergeant Greg Smith said Ms Walker’s case was the first he had heard involving the theft of copper from a flood- affected house.

Although several cases of looting were reported in Ipswich following the disaster, he said it was much harder to put a figure on the number of stealing offences committed against flood victims since the state of emergency had ended.

“Copper theft is usually associated with building sites,” he said. The number of copper-theft incidents had dropped off in recent months.

Copper price

  • As of yesterday, copper was trading at $9191 (USD) per tonne
  • Theft is a factor in the price of copper.
  • Scrap yards pay a high price for second-hand copper.


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