by: Tom Regan Updated:
ATLANTA - Atlanta's largest provider for homeless men, women and children became the target of a band of copper thieves.
Sometime last weekend, thieves broke through a wall at The Carpenter's House on Bolton Road in northwest Atlanta and ripped out thousands of pounds of copper pipes and wiring from ceilings and walls.
"Obviously, this wasn't the first time they've done this, based upon what we see. This crew knew what they were doing, they got what was of value and took it out," said Atlanta Union Mission President/CEO Jim Reese.
Reese told Channel 2's Tom Regan the estimated scrap value of the stolen metal is $7,000-$10,000.
The Carpenter's House is an old hospital that had been used as facility for the homeless, but is now primarily used for storage.
If the organization chooses to occupy the space again, the copper pipes and wiring would need to be replaced, but the theft is not having an impact on operations.
"The good thing for the Atlanta Union Mission, we will still be able to serve the thousand men, women and children that we serve every night," Reese said.
In recent years, the organization has raised funds by leasing the facility to movie and television productions. It was the location of one of the first scenes in the wildly popular television zombie show "The Walking Dead."
"Three or four movies have used this, because it's an old hospital. They use it as a movie, but it's also helping people in Atlanta who are poor," Reese said.
Reese said the Atlanta Union Mission collects $3,000 to $10,000 per day when renting the hospital as a set for movie and TV productions.