Surge of Copper Gutter Thefts in Montgomery County

Over two dozen incidents reported

Thursday, Jan 26, 2012  |  Updated 9:26 AM EDT
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Thieves are so hot for copper they're ripping it right off houses while people sleep inside.

Aaron Gilchrist

Thieves are so hot for copper they're ripping it right off houses while people sleep inside.

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Thieves are stealing copper off of residents' homes, sometimes while the occupants are sleeping inside.

Mayor of Rockville Phyllis Marcuccio told News4 it happened to her.  She thought someone had fallen onto her roof when she woke up startled.

Police say since November, thieves swiped copper gutters and downspouts 26 times in Bethesda, Potomac and Rockville.  They believe copper theft is popular because the material retains a high resale value.

According to police, many of the thefts occurred in an area inside the Beltway, along River Road, and south to the Potomac River to the Maryland/DC line.  Authorities said the thefts are occurring both day and night.

In several incidents, a late model beige, bronze, or gold pickup truck was seen nearby or in the victim's driveway.  In some incidents, homeowners have confronted the suspects, who say they are working for a gutter company.

Anyone with information about these or similar thefts is asked to call the 1st District Investigative Section at 240-773-6084 or the 2nd District Investigative Section at 301-657-0112.

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