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Have you had a home stripped yet? In Kansas City copper theft and vandalism is a daily problem. I can't even count the number of homes I've seen that have fallen victim to this crime. Often the cost of the damage is greater than the value of the house.
There seems to be no boundaries, new homes, old homes, apartment buildings, even commercial properties and churches are targets. One local church had the rooftop air conditioners stolen in the night. Now how is it that no one notices people on the roof of a church at night throwing air conditioners off.
Kansas City has it's share of $30,000 houses, strip one of them of all it's plumbing, wiring and fixtures and you have a house that ain't worth fixing. I had one house listed, they stole the wiring out of the walls and ceilings. They completely destroyed the home just to get 5 pounds of wire. The seller just told the lender to come and get it. He had no desire to even try to put it back together.
In 2007 about 20 states introduced some kind of legislation to regulate scrap metals. This year Missouri tackles the issue HB1512 sponsored by Representative Will Kraus seeks to find some kind of solution to this problem. while it may not be the cure it will at least treat some of the symptoms. We need to take further steps to counter this crime.
Some states have made the act of stealing copper a felony. I like that! But it's not just copper, aluminum, stainless steel, and even the exhaust system on your car are targets too. Imagine getting in your car, starting it up and finding out someone has stolen your catalytic converter.
One house I manage as a rental was left full of appliances, electronics, a big screen TV and even an electronic keyboard and several amplifiers. Thieves broke in went straight to the basement and took about 20 feet of 1/2" copper. They didn't even touch the electronics, they didn't even look in the closets.
I read that there have been incidents of people cutting down power polls to try to get the copper wire from them. Some people have been electrocuted while trying to steal wire.
Others; utility company employees, have been electrocuted as a result of the grounding rods being stolen from substations and electrical utilities.
About a week ago, I was sitting in my favorite recliner, tapping away at my laptop as I am now. I saw a truck cruising my neighborhood fitting the description of suspicious at best. I watched and waited and sure enough they came back, dropping off some creep with a pry bar and a pair of bolt cutters. He ran to the back of the vacant house across the street and disappeared. I dialed 911 and grabbed my shotgun. I told the dispatcher they better get out here quick, having thoughts of that great American Hero, Joe Horn. I asked them to please hurry because I didn't want to have another Texas incident.
Fortunately the KCPD arrived in time to hook up one of the thugs. The other took off in a truck and led them on a high speed chase. He managed to elude them but they know who he is. With the glut of foreclosures on the market, my neighborhood is starting to look like a ghost town. As a result I see more and more thugs cruising my neighborhood looking for an easy mark.
I have asked my loosely knit neighborhood association to quickly put together a neighborhood watch program. I suggested this sign as our logo, I'm not sure everyone else is as excited about it as I am.
Many of my neighbors are retired, and many have lived in this neighborhood for decades, most see the changes but seem reluctant to take action. I guess it will fall to me to get them motivated and doing something.
If your state hasn't addressed this issue, encourage your legislature to do something. Our real estate market is depressed enough, houses with no plumbing, wiring, water heaters, furnaces and fixtures are not going to improve the situation.
http://www.turnkeyproperties.us I generally blog about the investment property market. Real estate trends and politics as they affect the market. Rental Property and Kansas City.
As the founder of the Institute of Equestrian Real Estate Professionals I am thrilled to promote equine real estate and aid in the education and certification of equestrian real estate professionals throughout the world.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.