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Copper thieves, rain shut down Bank of America
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Two Manteca roofers team up to divert drain water from the Bank of America roof late Tuesday afternoon as they planned for more rain water from the current story that closed the bank for the day. - photo by GLENN KAHL

It is probably the most unusual weather story in Manteca’s history. 

Copper thieves forced the closure of the Bank of America Tuesday morning in Manteca with the theft of five 14-foot copper downspouts on the sides of the facility caused water from the roof to flow into the bank’s interior.

The copper finish had been painted over in the same slate colored paint as the façade of the structure making it difficult for anyone to notice it was made of the costly metal rather than corrugated material. 

Hundreds of customers of the Yosemite and Main Street bank were continually turned away throughout the day at the main rear door by a security guard who announced it was closed for the day due to the flooding.

A repair crew from Manteca’s Summit Roofing Service was on the scene early Tuesday attempting to patch up the problems mostly to the east side of the facility adjacent to the shuttered Kelly Brothers Brewery. 

The three-inch diameter drains were reportedly wrestled out of their roof mountings by hand until they broke away from the building causing a rerouting of the rain water from the top of the building to the lobby. 

A large cardboard box that was serving as an encampment near the sidewalk on the east side of the building told of an overnight camper. Workmen said a homeless man was seen running from the box when they began to inspect the building, leaving his sleeping bag and a stroller behind.

Three of the drains were taken from the east side of the building where thieves were hidden from public view. The other two were taken from the west side of the structure facing Main Street. 

The roofing staffers were still on the scene at 4:30 in the afternoon installing temporary drains on the roof to keep the water flow from funneling inside the bank building. The bank hoped to reopen Wednesday morning.