The opening of an Arkansas hospital could be delayed after thieves stole copper lines that had already been installed at the facility, according to hospital officials.
Sometime Thursday evening, thieves broke into the construction site of Sevier County Medical Center in De Queen and took the copper lines, the Texarkana Gazette reported.
The thieves also took tools and other items being used in the construction.
The Sevier County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the theft at the hospital, located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Texarkana, near the Oklahoma border.
The hospital had been set to open on Sept. 20 but that could be delayed, hospital CEO Lori House said in statement.
“The opening of Sevier County Medical Center has been highly anticipated and the need for a new hospital in this county is substantial. When this type of theft and subsequent damage occurs, it hurts the entire community,” House said.
The hospital says it’s putting in safeguards to prevent more thefts.
The hospital is expected to employ about 105 people. The 42,000-square-foot campus will include an outpatient rehabilitation facility.