Catching Copper Criminals

By Perry Russom

November 17, 2012 Updated Nov 19, 2012 at 10:37 AM EST

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Vestal Police are asking for your help in catching copper criminals.

There has been a recent string of robberies where copper has been stolen from homes either abandoned or undergoing renovations.

These are the homes that were affected by the flood in September, 2011.

The copper piping is being taken from the home's plumbing system.

"This is just a simple case of someone coming in and taking advantage of the fact that these houses aren't occupied," said Sgt. Christopher Streno of Vestal Police.

Police say copper is being stolen because of how much money the metal is worth.

Copper costs around $3.50 cents per pound.

Vestal Police are asking contractors in the area to report any suspicious activity.

"There are people out there who's brothers, uncles, sons, fathers and husbands are the ones committing these crimes and they know it," said Sgt. Streno. "Those people should feel bad about it and call police."

Police are communicating with local scrap yards to find the thieves

Copper buyers like Weitsman and Son scan every photo ID of their customer that receives more than $20 for copper and scrap metals.

They have over 8,000 photo IDs in their records.