Tips sought about copper theft in Rantoul

RANTOUL — Crimestoppers and Rantoul police need help finding the people responsible for vandalizing a building on the former Chanute Air Force Base, in an apparent copper theft.

On Nov. 1, 2012, about 7:10 a.m., Rantoul police and firefighters were sent to the Rantoul Command Center Building, 801 Arends Blvd., for a natural gas odor. Firefighters could smell gas and also found flooding in the basement.

After turning off the gas and water, they found that a glass door had been broken and about 100 feet of copper pipe had been cut and removed from the basement. The gas and water leaks were a result of the line having been cut and removed.

Police also found three exterior air conditioning units damaged. Two were completely stripped of copper, while a third sustained only minor damage from copper removal.

The Rantoul Command Center building was vacant at the time of the copper theft. However, the building was leased and was being prepared for use.

The cost to repair the building was put at more than $106,000.

If you have any information regarding this incident or the suspect's identity, please call Rantoul police at 217-892-2103 or Champaign County Crimestoppers at 217-373-8477.

Information may also be sent anonymously online at http://www.373tips.com or by cellphone text message by sending CCTIP plus the information to CRIMES (274637).

Crimestoppers will pay a reward if the information leads an arrest. Cash rewards are also paid for information on other felony crimes or fugitives in the Champaign County area.

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