BERKLEY (WWJ/AP) – Police say copper piping has been stolen from 23 vacant homes in the Detroit suburb of Berkley in recent weeks.

Berkley police Detective Sgt. Andrew Hadfield said the break-ins at homes advertised for sale have taken place since August.

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“In each of these someone has broken into the houses, gone down into the basement and removed exposed copper pipe from the ceilings,” Hadfield told the Detroit News. “We can’t be certain it is the same person or persons but the (method of operation) is the same and the theft is the same with the targets all being older homes which have copper pipes.”

Hadfield said the break-ins are believed to have happened at night, and were discovered by real estate agents or homeowners during inspections.

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According to Hadfield, the stolen piping is worth far less than damage left behind that can total hundreds of dollars.

Anyone who might have information on the thefts or a possible suspect is urged to contact police at 248-658-3380.

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