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Accused copper thief causes $160,000 damage to Southland Mall

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man was able to get onto the roof of the Southland Mall two separate times this month, and he caused a total of $160,000 of damages to air conditioning units on the roof. Now, police need help identifying him.

The man went onto the mall's roof first on June 4 around 8 a.m. He took copper pipe and condenser coils from five industrial air conditioning units, causing $80,000 in damages.

Mall personnel found the suspect, who then fled the scene. The coils and copper pipe were recovered.

Police said this is one of the vehicles used by the Southland Mall suspect.

The same suspect then went onto the roof again on June 11 around 7:15 a.m. He took condenser coils and copper pipe from three air conditioning units and damaged three other units, this time causing another $80,000 in damages.

The suspect was again confronted by mall personnel, and he was able to flee the scene. The pipe and coils were recovered.

"It's an epidemic. It's not as bad as it was, but it's still an epidemic, because the laws can't enforce it," auto shop owner Larry Walker said.

He's not surprised to hear someone stole the copper.

"So I guess they consider it easy money, but it's an awful lot of work to go on the roof to do it."

Police ask the public to come forward with any information they may have about the suspect.

The suspect was described as a white male with dark hair and was wearing glasses, a brown t-shirt and blue jeans.

The vehicles the suspect was using during the two thefts were a newer model maroon Toyota Tacoma with Arkansas tags and a silver or gray Chevrolet Siverado with unknown plates.

This investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.

Google Map for coordinates 35.019183 by -90.021847.

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