Copper thieves leave $10,000 in damage at Midway Stadium

Thieves who forced open eight breaker boxes to steal copper along the outfield wall at the St. Paul Saints baseball stadium left about $10,000 in damage, officials said Wednesday.

Police were called Monday about the theft at Midway Stadium, which is believed to have taken place Sunday night or early Monday, St. Paul Police spokeswoman Janet Dunnom said.

Wires inside the breaker boxes were pulled or cut, and copper was missing. The boxes themselves were also damaged. Dunnom said the thieves didn't leave much that would help police solve the crime.

"They looked for any tools left or any prints and they couldn't find anything, so it's really preliminary at this point," Dunnom said.

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Thieves made away with copper from the same place almost two years ago, so stadium officials are looking for ways to improve security, said Brad Meyer, spokesman for the St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department. The city owns the stadium, which is rented by the St. Paul Saints.

There are currently no security cameras that would have recorded the incident, and the parks department is working with police to find ways to improve surveillance, Meyer said. Right now, one method is having police officers with dogs stop by the stadium complex at night to walk them, he said.

"Our resources are already stretched pretty thin," Meyer said, adding that it would be difficult to having security personnel stationed at the stadium each night.

City officials are now trying to figure out how much insurance will pay for the damage and whether to replace the wiring now or wait until the weather improves, Meyer said.