Alpharetta police are trying to track down who is responsible for stealing almost a dozen newspaper boxes in the city.
The owner of Appen Newspapers which publishes several local newspapers said he has had a few of the boxes ripped off over the years but has never seen such a rash of thefts.
"In 20 years I've never seen anything like this and it's puzzling," said Ray Appen.
Appen said the newspaper boxes have disappeared from various locations in Alpharetta over the past several weeks.
"These are hard times and every penny counts," said Appen. "Losing these boxes and having to replace them, it's hard. It's a stretch."
Alpharetta police said they have stepped up patrols in the areas where the thefts have been reported.
"It is very strange," said Ofc. George Gordon. "The thing about it is, we have to be on top of it. It happens so quickly. Somebody can pull up in a truck, it's a matter of seconds of grabbing it and leaving."
Appen said the boxes only have about $10 in them on average and the metal from the box is worth only a few dollars.
"It's really our customers who are being hurt," said Executive Editor Hatcher Hurd. "We don't make a lot of money off the boxes but a lot of people tell us we want our paper. We want to give it to them."
Appen is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the thief or thieves.
"Just don't do it in front of me," said Hurd. "I'll get them and their picture will be on the front page."
Anyone with information on the thefts is asked to call Alpharetta police.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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