Thieves steal bleachers from youth ball diamond

LORAIN, Ohio - Stolen bases are to be expected at a baseball field, but stolen bleachers?

Aluminum thieves made off with $4,000 worth of bleachers -- enough seating for 100 people -- from youth diamonds at P.C. Campana Park.

The bleachers began disappearing over several days last week. The thefts began with small end plates and cross sections and escalated to larger pieces, Lorain Youth Baseball president Chuck Camera said.

Theft of copper, aluminum and other metals is on the rise as prices soar, police say.

In Springfield in western Ohio, metal thieves hit about 70 homes and businesses in five months. In other parts of the country, thieves stole air conditioners from an apartment complex, downspouts from a church and cables for a tourist trolley.

Dave Carter, operations manager for All American Recycling in Lorain, has offered a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the bleacher thieves.

Aluminum is selling for about 50 cents per pound, Carter said.

Ohio law requires scrap yards to maintain a book of transactions that includes a description and the address of those who bring in metals.

Lorain police Lt. Jim Rohner said they will cite local scrap yards that do not comply with state requirements for keeping records.

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