SAN DIEGO: State officials arrested a man who ran a sophisticated scheme at San Diego area Lowe's and Home Depot stores in which he replaced the bar codes on expensive merchandise with bar codes that scanned at lower prices, according to the state Attorney General's Office.
Steve Allen Koski, 42, of San Diego, was arraigned Thursday on 11 felony counts, including grand theft and 10 counts of burglary.
Koski stole or
attempted to steal more than $30,000 in copper wire and other merchandise from
Lowe's and Home Depot stores. He then re-sold that merchandise to California
recycling centers for over $180,000, according to state officials.
The Attorney General's Office states that California is among the top five states with the highest reported incidences of copper theft. The National Insurance Crime Bureau reports 1,342 metal theft claims in California from January 2009 to December 2011, with approximately 96% of these claims pertaining to the theft of copper.