Copper thieves scale roof of Charleston health food store
A local store is only operating at about half-capacity after thieves targeted them.
The shelves sit empty in refrigerators and freezers at the Healthy Life Market on Patrick Street in Charleston, not by the businesses choice but because they are victims of copper theft.
On Tuesday morning, Healthy Life Market manager Leslie Good said she noticed the temperature rising in her freezers.
"We called maintenance, hoping it was a simple, quick repair and that's when found out someone had climbed up on the roof to scavenge for copper," Healthy Life Market Manager Leslie Good said.
Good reported the theft to Charleston police and also began to try to save the tens of thousands of dollars worth of product. A lot of items aren't available at typical grocery stores, so the only option for customers is to drive to the Kanawha City location.
"I've heard stories of the copper theft but I think it's unbelievable that one of our local store would be victim to it, I hadn't realized it gotten that bad," Laura Barno of Charleston said.
Barno says she shops weekly at the Healthy Life Market and will be back, but feels sorry for the employees.
"They are going to have a lot of angry customers that won't be understanding," Barno said. "I've worked retail in my life, and I know people that can't have the product they want can get a little ugly."
Good said the repairs would take time.
"This has hurt us and hurt the community, a lot of people rely on us, like people with Celiac's disease, they rely on us, they can't just go get bread somewhere else," Good said.
Good added they hope to have the shelves restocked by Tuesday so their customers can have everything they need for Christmas.