PARMA, Ohio— One local community is seeing a huge rash of copper thefts! Parma police said all the thefts have happened in the north end of town.
Investigators said thieves have targeted nearly 18 homes since early December.
According to police, all the homes were up for sale or in foreclosure. One neighbor who lives on Lincoln Avenue had no idea a home located a few doors down had been burglarized.
"That's actually kind of scary, around here it's pretty quiet," the neighbor said. Parma police said copper thefts are nothing new, but over the past few weeks, they've noticed a specific behavior pattern.
Now they're warning residents to be vigilant. "One of the common threads that we're seeing is they're breaking the door lock right off. In some cases, these are homes that have lock boxes on them for realtors and so forth," said Detective Marty Compton.
The current rate for a pound of copper is $3.64.
Police said stealing piping is a lot of work for little payoff. "The damage they're causing to the home, in some cases we've had homes that were damaged because of flooding. The damage caused to the home, the cost of going out and buying the copper and putting it back in pales in comparison to what they're actually getting for it," said Compton.
"If you know you have a vacant home next door, all the sudden there's a vehicle in the driveway, or you see a couple people loading stuff up, call us.
Let us come out and check it out."