Copper Thieves Raid Lincoln's Tomb

Police suspect statue's sword ended up as scrap metal
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2011 3:33 AM CST
Copper Thieves Raid Lincoln's Tomb
The theft is the first at the site since 1890, when a sword from the same statue was stolen.   (Wikipedia)

(Newser) – Police in Illinois are looking for a thief who emancipated a 3-foot copper sword from a statue of a Civil War artilleryman at Abraham Lincoln's final resting place. Investigators believe the sword—which replaced a bronze one stolen from the same statue at Lincoln's tomb in the 1890s—was stolen some time in the last few weeks, probably by somebody seeking to make quick cash by selling it for scrap metal.

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A state lawmaker seeking to introduce legislation to crack down on copper theft said the raid on Lincoln's tomb should be the last straw, the Journal-Register reports. "These thefts are causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage for only a few dollars in scrap metal,” he said. “We have to do something." His proposal would introduce harsher penalties for copper thieves and require scrap metal merchants to keep more detailed records. (Read more Abraham Lincoln stories.)

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