Intruders have entered the abandoned Carnegie Library in the past by breaking a window in the rear of the historic building. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News][/caption]

Copper-seeking crooks have been slipping into the historic Carnegie Library building in downtown Binghamton.

Copper thieves haven't been deterred  by this "Keep Out" sign at the old library. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News][/caption]

Police were called to the property at 78 Exchange Street Tuesday afternoon when workers discovered evidence someone had stolen more scrap metal.

Asbestos abatement work recently started at the building in preparation for a $12 million SUNY Broome Community College Culinary Arts Center.

Officers did not enter the old library because of the potential hazards posed by the asbestos.

Although a groundbreaking ceremony for the project was held in late September, the property still is owned by the Broome County Industrial Development Agency.

Kevin McLaughlin, the agency's executive director, said copper thefts have been reported at the former library building in the past. He said he was summoned by police a few months ago to assist officers after it appeared it had been entered by someone who broke a window.

McLaughlin said he's been advised by IDA attorneys that the building deed likely will be transferred to SUNY Broome this week or early next week.

FLASHBACK: Watch the Binghamton Now tour of the historic Carnegie Library building in downtown Binghamton.

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