Copper theft threatens Bama Budweiser

Published 8:46 pm Friday, April 30, 2010

The fate of Bama Budweiser is has come into some doubt.

After suffering from theft and vandalism that did more than $40,000 dollars of damage, more outside air conditioner units were either taken or destroyed.

The recent thefts have left the plant on shaky ground.

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“This could be the final straw for this business here in Selma,” said Steve South, general manager of Bama Budweiser in Selma. “The previous break in where they did $40,000 plus in damage, I have the damage receipts right here. The owner was about fed up and he was just about ready to work this area out of Montgomery.”

South said he had yet to get in touch with Frank and Mark Schilleci, the owners of Bama Budweiser after the most recent incident.

According to South, the suspects came in and ruined many of the outside air conditioners that control the units of the air control environments inside the warehouse at Bama Budweiser.

South said that he wasn’t sure of the exact day the suspects took the air conditioner.

“We started noticing later this week that the temperature was dropping down,” said South of the warehouse that the air conditioners supplied. “We discovered it today because the temperature gauge started dropping quickly.”

According to South, the suspects were trying to get the copper from the air units to sell.

The price of copper is now $3.34 per pound, that is an increase of 63.18 percent in the last year.

Investigator Mike Granthum of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department said that the price of copper has an impact.

“We didn’t have much copper theft for a while,” said Inv. Mike Granthum of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department. “But now the price has gone up.”

According to Granthum, copper thieves often go after abandoned houses, warehouses and air conditioners.

“They like to hit business that are closed on the weekends,” said Granthum. “That way they have a couple of days before anyone knows something happened.”