Most thefts involve items generally considered desirable and easily portable, such as jewelry or cash.
But a thief or thieves in Madison County had eyes for something else: 20 sections of cast-iron boiler parts valued at $30,000.
Richmond police said Wednesday that the parts were taken from the Philips Building on the grounds of the Madison County Board of Education in Richmond. The parts were reported stolen April 20 but were apparently taken the weekend of April 17-18, police said.
The parts, kept outside, were salvaged from boiler systems that were replaced when newer heating systems were installed.
The salvaged parts were kept in case they were needed for the remaining boilers in the district, said Larry Curry, director of buildings and grounds for Madison County schools. It was cheaper to save and reuse rather than to buy a new part, he said.
Curry said he thinks the parts probably were stolen to be sold for scrap. Each square section, 4 feet by 4 feet and 8 to 10 inches thick, weighed 350 to 400 pounds, Curry said.
For that reason, Curry said, this wasn't a one-man job.
"If it was, I don't want to meet up with him," Curry said. "He can keep 'em."