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Page added on August 30, 2008

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Solar panels are hot for the stealing

They turn the sun’s rays into usable electricity, with proponents calling it an environmentally friendly alternative that saves money on utilities.

But the growing number of solar panels being installed on roofs of government buildings, private businesses and homes are becoming a hot commodity in a way many say they didn’t expect.

East Bay law enforcement has been seeing a number of solar panel thefts. One industry expert said it was an uncommon crime, but there was a brief spree of thefts six weeks ago throughout the Bay Area.

“The solar panel thing is pretty new,” said Contra Costa County Sherriff’s Office spokesman Jimmy Lee of the thefts. “We’re seeing an increasing number of cases.”

Inside Bay Area

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