The Alexandria Police Department warns of a recent increase in residential and commercial copper thefts.
Officials say at least 32 copper gutters and gutter accessories have been stolen in 14 reported instances beginning in April.
Thieves operate at all hours, not just in the dark of night, and are known to target single-family homes, schools and churches, police said.
This kind of theft has become common throughout the area, and, as of yet, police do not have any indication of who is committing these crimes.
To avoid becoming a victim, police advise residents call police whenever they observe any suspicious behavior near their roofs and gutters, remove anything that may give thieves unwanted access to the building and roof (ladders, trees, scaffolding, etc.), install security cameras around the property, and engrave any copper tubing with the address of the property.
Police remind local recyclers and scrap yards to refrain from dealing in any copper scrap that looks like it may have been stolen.
To report a theft or offer information regarding these thefts, call the Alexandria Police Department at 703-746-4444.