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Historical Ophir sign stolen

Metal thefts on the rise, law enforcement says
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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The Ophir Memorial Plaque was reported missing Wednesday, according to authorities. Residents say they want the plaque returned because of its historical value. Law enforcement says it’s no surprise because there have been a growing number of metal thefts. Amy Goodrich noticed the commemorative, metal plaque, which hung near the Lazanos Road Bridge, in Auburn, was missing on the way to drop her children off at Ophir School Wednesday morning. Goodrich said she called the Placer County Sheriff’s Office and they had already received a call from someone else about the plaque. Because it is one of the few things left commemorating the former town of Ophir, Goodrich said she hopes it is returned soon. “It’s a part of Ophir history,” Goodrich said. “All we have are the school, the firehouse and some of the mines that are back there. I’m hoping someone returns it because I know a lot of people are out there trying to find a way to make money and might want to sell it.” Dena Erwin, spokeswoman for the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, said the plaque was reported missing and officers were looking into the incident. Erwin said metal thefts are on the rise. “Yes, we’ve definitely seen an increase in the theft of metals. Criminals are taking them to recycling centers,” Erwin said. “It’s definitely a trend and something we follow up on, investigate and try to get them back.” Due to the rise in thefts, she said recycling centers have more restrictions now. To recycle people are required to get their photo taken and have their driver’s license copied. Recycling centers are also supposed to report to law enforcement if they believe anything is stolen. “Copper and metal thefts are so rampant that they are creating more laws to try to prevent them,” Erwin said. “The sad thing is crooks are destroying these things. They are trying to get it back before somebody can destroy it.” Reach Sara Seyydin at saras@goldcountrymedia.com.