Copper thieves trash Paterson homeless shelter

A Paterson Task Force is still feeling the sting left after thieves trashed the Hilltop Haven homeless shelter over the Fourth of July weekend.

The bandits broke in over the holiday looking for copper pipes in the walls. Using hammers, they stole every piece.

"It was just devastating. Every pipe that was available to be removed, was removed," says shelter volunteer Brenda McMillan, who discovered the destruction.

Shelter volunteers say the incident is like salt in the wounds, as they were raising money to finish fire repairs when the thieves struck.

Local politicians are lining up behind the shelter in solidarity.

Council members Anthony Davis and Rigo Rodriguez have pledged support in helping to repair the shelter. State Sen. John Girgenti is sponsoring a bill that would require scrap metal dealers to keep records of all transactions and ask sellers for identification.

Girgenti says the legislation would make it easier to crack down on copper thieves.

For more on the vandalism, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.

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