Keep an Eye on Vacant Homes, Neighbors Warn
CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — Copper thieves are targeting a local neighborhood and police hope neighbors can help track them down. In some cases, the burglary is not the only concern people have.
Sometime on Tuesday, someone broke into the back door of a home on Brandon Road in Cleveland Heights.
According to police, they stole copper pipe inside.
“It does concern me that people are breaking into houses, that’s not good for any neighborhood at all,” said resident Ted Howard.
Around that same time period, the same thing happened at a home on Newbury Road. Both are in the Forest Hills area of the city, and both homes were up for sale.
“If someone is looking around for copper or for a likely candidate to have some easy entrance, they’re gonna look for a home that perhaps doesn’t have drapery on the windows, maybe it looks like it’s abandoned, perhaps the grass is too long,” said resident Jeff Dross.
The police chief said in both cases a real estate agent noticed the break-ins and called the police. He also said there have been other cases of copper pipe being stolen from vacant homes recently in other parts of the city.
“I know when houses are vacant people need to be keeping an eye on them,” said Hester Lewellen.
The break-ins are not the only concern when it comes to copper thieves. Fire investigators in Maple Heights are still trying to determine whether an explosion at a vacant home there on Tuesday could have been sparked by someone stealing copper from it.
The residents Fox 8 News spoke to are also on the board of the Forest Hills Homeowners Association. They urge their fellow neighbors to keep a close eye on the vacant homes in the area.
“I don’t think there are more percentage-wise than other places, but yeah, do we see ‘for sale’ signs? Yes we do,” said Lewellen.
“On our road here and down the side road, we are all very clear that we pick up the phone and call the police if we see something that’s unusual,” said Howard.
“If neighbors look after neighbors, things like this are gonna happen a lot less often,” he added.