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West Reading police issue warning about copper thefts

By Dwayne Parker, Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 03 2013 09:32:27 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 03 2013 10:37:16 PM CDT

West Reading police issue warning about copper thefts

WEST READING, Pa. -

Police are asking for the public's help in nabbing some copper thieves causing havoc in West Reading.

The crimes happened in the 200 block of Chestnut Street.

The criminals broke into vacant homes that are for sale or bank owned, and stole copper out of the basement, police said.

One homeowner just so happened to discover the theft while checking up on the property, and noticed the water wasn't working, investigators said.

"And when the borough workers came out to check, the found that the copper pipes had been removed," said detective Joe Brown, West Reading Police Dept.

Police have alerted neighbors through flyers like these, and even through posting messages on the police department's Facebook page.

Meanwhile, police cruisers could be seen patrolling the area.

 Wallace Agosto says he's concerned because his family lives in the area.

"It's disturbing and I don't like it. If I find out who's doing it, I'm going to, quick, call the cops," Agosto said.

Authorities say it's tough to pinpoint when the crimes actually took place because the homes were vacant.

Investigators say the high price of copper at the moment could be one of the factors behind the thefts.

If cashed in, the thieves could have obtained several hundred dollars for the stolen copper, detectives said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Alert: Berks County immediately.

The number is 877-373-9913.

Anonymous calls are accepted, and you could earn up to a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.