Allentown
50° F
Overcast
Overcast
 

Copper thieves strike in Leesport, police say

By Meghan Packer, Reporter, MPacker@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 21 2014 10:27:43 PM CDT

Copper thieves strike in Leesport

LEESPORT, Pa. -

Copper thieves are at it again. They struck in Leesport, Berks County.

The damage was discovered Friday morning at a house on Route 61 that Darryl Brown's realty and appraisal businesses moved into in January.

"It's really surprisingly devastating. I've never experienced any kind of victimization before," Brown told 69 News.

"This morning when my contractor arrived, he could hear the sound of water running," Brown explained.

They discovered the thieves broke into a basement window and cut copper piping in different areas of the basement.

"They cut it right at the main, luckily they left the shutoff valve there so we could shut the water off, but there was a geyser down here spewing water into the basement," said Brown. "Copper that came out and copper that supplied the water heater is gone.

The thieves also grabbed copper downspouts outside.

"The money is not so much important to me but it's so personal and I don't think you really take stock of that until it happens to you," said Brown.

Brown said they've done renovations and are currently working on the house, trying to preserve its charm and character. After the thefts, however, they will have to make some changes.

"We're going to take down the exterior copper, replace it with aluminum. In here we'll probably replace it with some sort of PEX or PVC piping so they don't have the incentive to come back," he explained in the basement.

Detective Sergeant Brian Horner with the Northern Berks Regional Police Department said, "It's not going away. It's something that somebody can easily access to get quick money."

He said the community can help by staying alert.

"If anybody sees people taking copper piping out from the residence that might be under foreclosure or that's for sale, they need to call the police right away," he said.

Call police if you have any information about the crime.