The Oakland County Sheriff says residents should be on the lookout for copper thieves.
It’s been a growing problem in recent months, with dozens of reported incidents of copper being stripped from vacant and foreclosed homes.
Sheriff Michael Bouchard tells WWJ Newsradio 950 these thieves cause a big mess.
“They just tear out the copper plumbing — the pipes and a number of things throughout the house, without regard to, obviously, the damage that’s done or the potential damage if water starts to run freely in the home,” Bouchard said.
Bouchard says neighbors can help local authorities to minimize this type of crime.
“Eyes and ears. Neighbors, keep an eye on homes in your neighborhood, your fellow neighbors. But, also, homes that may be vacant. And, unfortunately, that’s a great deal of those throughout the state,” he said.
“Dont be afraid to call us, if we’re the police agency, or your local police. We’d rather check ten of those out than miss one real one. And, typically, they don’t stop at one house,” Bouchard said.
Bouchard says that, after it’s ripped from the walls, the copper is usually sold to scrap yards for cash.