Scrap Metal Thieves Repeatedly Hit Northeast Columbus Business

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UPDATED: Saturday May 25, 2013 9:15 PM

A northeast side business has been targeted at least six times by thieves who have stolen copper and other metal from it, according to the owner.

Darlene Matthews runs Beauty All Over, a salon in the 2500 block of Cleveland Avenue.

The building had holes in concrete from where Matthews said thieves have ripped copper downspouts off of the wall.

"This is my fifth set of gutters. This is six. This is number six," Matthews said.

Matthews said she has also had to replace the air conditioning unit six times because of stolen copper wiring.

Leaders of a mosque next door told 10TV News that copper had been stolen out of air conditioners there twice as well.

Matthews has unsuccessfully tried to protect her property with metal caging. The mosque recently installed a security fence to attempt to protect its air conditioners.

Matthews said that businesses on the block have been struggling to stay open because the owners simply cannot afford to fight the crime on their own. She said she has stopped reporting the thefts because of worries she could lose her insurance.

The business owner said she has contacted Columbus City Council and Mayor Michael Coleman's office to request that a city security camera be installed in the neighborhood. She said the response she received was that they were working on it.

"All we're trying to do is work and give back to the community, and it's sad. It's sad. And God forbid someone gets hurt out here. I just don't know what else to do," Matthews said.

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