OAKWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) - For many for sale signs show a home that's on the market, but for a few they're advertising something else that's available inside.
"What we're finding is they're taking copper products out of the houses," says Oakwood Public Safety Department Major Randy Baldridge.
In the last few weeks alone, Oakwood has had about 10 home break-ins.
In almost all the cases the homes were for sale and had no one living there, but the thieves still knew where they could find something of value inside.
"In some cases they're actually removing ceiling panels and the drywall that covers the ceiling to get access to the copper piping," Baldridge says.
The thieves use the for sale signs and sometimes even the snow to see if anyone's living there.
"It does help when the snow is out to see there hasn't been a lot of activity there," Baldridge says.
That's why officers are asking for property owners and neighbors to keep an eye out for anything that seems out of place.
"We do ask if residents see activity that doesn't look normal to contact the Oakwood Public Safety Department," Baldridge says.
It seems these thieves in particular are pretty good at sneaking around.
Neighbors near those break-ins say they didn't even notice anything out of the ordinary.
"I watch those houses," says neighbor Gerald Sharkey. "I watch them a lot. So I'm surprised they do it. I'm surprised they get away with it."
Officers are trying to make sure they won't get away with it much longer.
Along with watchful neighbors they're counting on the scrap yards to keep these criminals from putting out for sale signs of their own on their stolen copper.
"Hopefully we'll be able to trace through that accounting and develop some suspects," Baldridge says.
If you have any information on the break-ins call Crime Stoppers at 222-7867.
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