Copper thieves target closed restaurant

Police: Roommates admit to 'scrapping'

Published On: Mar 19 2013 11:15:25 AM CDT   Updated On: Mar 19 2013 11:29:00 AM CDT
MADISON, Wis. -

A McDonald's restaurant closed for renovations was struck by thieves who took copper from the roof of the building, according to Madison police.

Police were called to McDonald's at 3051 E. Washington Ave. at 2:40 p.m. Monday for a report of a man on the roof of the building and a man below who appeared to be acting as a lookout.

The man on the ground was standing near a built-in ladder to the roof of the building and told the first officer on the scene that he was "just hanging out" and "trying to clear his head." He told the officer he didn't know anything about a man being on the roof, according to police.

The officer called for the man on the roof to come down, and he brought with him a backpack full of copper, according to police. The man admitted to cutting and stealing metal, and said he knew the man at the bottom of the ladder. Police said the men were roommates.

Police said more copper wire and piping was found cut and lying on the roof. The lookout admitted to police that he and his roommate are "scrappers."

A local copper recycling company told police it is currently paying about $3 for a pound of copper.

John T. Patt Sr., 52, and Brian J. Mitchell, 40, both of Madison, were arrested on suspicion of theft and criminal damage to property.

Madison crime stories from the past 12 months - locations are approximate