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Rash of copper thefts reported in Doylestown

By Bo Koltnow, Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 11 2013 05:00:10 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 11 2013 05:42:34 PM CDT

On rainy days like this, downspouts carry their weight. Unless that is, they don't.

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. -

On rainy days like this, downspouts carry their weight. Unless that is, they don't.

"Someone looking for quick money and this was a good way to get it," John Hank of Doylestown Presbyterian Church said.

From homes, to churches Doylestown Borough Police say in the past few weeks, copper downspouts have disappeared from 16 different buildings.

The thieves are targeting older neighborhoods, police said. Scouting during the day, then striking at night.

"The closest thing we've had with the eye witness testimony is an individual walking away from a residence that was victimized at night," Doylestown Borough Lt. Pat Penecale told us.

Police believe the thefts are by the same crew. Creating an uneasy feeling for Mom Sarah Rosato, whose neighbor was hit.

"It's somewhat frightening. We have other children we allow to play in out yard while we're inside. I'm not comfortable doing that now," she said.

The demand and price for copper has skyrocketed over the past 5 years, leading to a spike in thefts.

This past summer police said a couple broke into 76 homes for sale across the Lehigh Valley, stealing copper fittings, pipes and vales, then selling them to scrap yards.

The Doylestown copper liberators may feel left out when they go to cash in. A metal company told us copper spouts are going for $2.68 per pound and each only weigh a few pounds.

Doylestown Police estimate the value of copper stolen to be close to $4,000.

Doylestown Presbyterian Church has to pony up several hundred bucks to replace what was stolen from them. Church Administrator John Hank isn't surprised.

"A couple of years ago had a resident in the borough stealing from the graveyard. Doesn't happen often but it can happen," Hank said.

Police advise neighbors to be on the lookout while they try to crack this copper capper.