Thieves stealing copper from Middletown homes

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (WHTM) - Middletown police say over the past few months, more than 20 houses have had copper piping stripped from their basements.

Police believe the crimes are drug related and were committed by the same group of people. They said most of the houses were vacant and had "for sale" signs in the front yard.

Police Chief John Bey asks people to be aware of their neighborhoods and watch for suspicious trucks carrying a lot of copper.

Police also recommend people don't put signs in front of houses for sale. If you must, install light motion sensors outside and timer lights inside.

Bey said several thousands dollars worth of copper was stolen from the area, but the burglars are only getting a couple hundred dollars, sometimes even $1,000 per house.

"I think it's ridiculous because they're causing the people who they're stealing from a lot of time, money and stress," said Ernestine Peters. The house across the street from hers was hit by burglars.

This isn't the first time a copper theft ring has hit Middletown. Bey said someone was arrested after a rash of crimes in 2009.

Dauphin County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest.

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