SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — The copper thieves knew what they wanted and wasted little time in taking it.

“It’s a pretty big loss for us,” said Adam Dao of Leo Recycling.

Surveillance cameras recorded the caper at about 1 o’clock Thursday morning. The remarkably clear video first showed two men getting out of a dark Chevy pickup. While one man walked down the sidewalk, the other appears to be casing the building from the gate.

Then, the first man casually throws the heavy barbed wire gate wide open and walks inside. Seconds later, another camera captures the pickup driver backing up to the building.

From yet another angle, all three men begin the big haul. Bundles of brand new copper piping, $3,000 worth, loaded on to the pickup bed as calmly as if it were a Home Depot.

In less than five minutes, the pickup drives away with one man still in the bed securing the load.

Surveillance footage of a copper theft caught on video at Leo Recycling in San Jose on August 6, 2015. (CBS)

Surveillance footage of a copper theft caught on video at Leo Recycling in San Jose on August 6, 2015. (CBS)

Employees working the night shift can be seen making their rounds, but it was too late, the thieves were already gone.

“We’re dumbfounded that they were bold enough to walk through the front gate, through all front door with all the cameras up,” Dao told KPIX 5.

Dao said it shows where security needs to be beefed up.

“Late at night is when our maintenance crews are here and they come through the gates, and they are working on the heavy machinery in the back of the yard.  So the gates are not always locked.  The gates are not always locked,” he said.

Dao is turning the video over to police, who will investigate with the benefits of the suspect’s pictures, their vehicle and license plate.

Leo Recycling said the copper piping was not in for recycling, it was for a plumbing project to improve the building.


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