Thirty solar panels stolen off Carbondale rec center

Carbondale town employees say residents are furious over the theft of 30 solar panels from the roof of the community’s recreation center.

A center employee discovered the theft Wednesday night while doing routine maintenance on the top of the climbing wall. The panels are valued at $1,000 each.

In a news release, the town called the thefts highly unusual. It said Rockwell International, which finances installation of solar systems, reports that panels sometimes are taken off trucks or pallets, but the company never previously had heard of installed panels being taken.

“The community feels violated by this crime,” Police Chief Gene Schilling said in the news release. “Carbondale citizens are very upset, and they want to see justice prevail with the arrest of the thieves.”

Kay Philip, who works in community outreach for the town, said that part of the community’s outrage comes from the fact the panels helped the recreation center earn a Platinum rating under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification system. That’s the top rating that can be achieved under LEED.

“There’s a lot of community pride in its building and its design and trying to be green and reduce the carbon footprint, and to have someone steal from that is very offensive to the community,” Philip said.

The Victim’s Assistance Board is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to any arrests in the case.

Anyone with information is asked to call Carbondale police at 963-2662.


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