"Hey Crack head, and I want my plumbing back !!"

Managing Real Estate Broker with Scott Gregory Group

If you were the asset manager for the Lawrence MA bank owned multi family I showed today that is what you would be saying.

I entered and mentioned to my client, "Oh they tore into the ceiling they must have had a leak." We, then moved on to the bathroom and saw the wall of the tub plumbing entirely ripped out. We then looked at each-other and laughed. Some crack head had ripped out ever piece of copper in the house. Now, this required some serious demolition work. Not sure why the crack head would not just get a demolition job ??? You could pull down enough money to buy some crack doing that. Same effort, just legit work. God forbid legit work for a crack head. I will be honest, there could be $1000 worth of copper in the walls you couldn't pay me $1000 just for labor to put this kind of effort in retrieve ing the copper.

I have never seen this. I do show multi families in sometimes tough areas but never seen that. There are so many ways to measure the economy, strength of the dollar, inflation, exports, imports, stock market data, housing prices, interest rates ect ect but honestly how about the "copper stolen out of walls for crack index???"

Posted by

Scott Strang

Broker Owner

Scott Gregory Group Inc.


Office Phone: (978) 664-2828
Cell Phone:    (617) 312-6717

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Larry Story
Total Care Realty - Greensboro, NC
Total Care Realty, LLC, Greensboro, NC Real Estate

Scott went into a home last week that same thing only it had a full basement so they just went into the basement and ripped it all down. 

Nov 23, 2008 05:24 AM #35
Myrtle Beach South Carolina Marketing
Myrtle-Beach.com - Myrtle Beach, SC

This is horrible.  I was not aware this was even going on.  Would you mind if I reposted this on my Myrtle Beach area social site?  Myrtle-Beach dot com at our town center/express yourself page?

Please let me know,


David Hucks

Nov 23, 2008 05:36 AM #36
Lisa Friedman
Alliance Realtors - Bedminster, NJ
Central New Jersey Real Estate

Scott, I have seen people pull copper wiring our of new construction homes.  Guess there is a market for re-selling it?

Nov 23, 2008 05:54 AM #37
Lisa Friedman
Alliance Realtors - Bedminster, NJ
Central New Jersey Real Estate

P.S. I get a sad kick out of the 'tag' words you decided to use - very creative!

Nov 23, 2008 05:55 AM #38
Chuck Carstensen
RE/MAX Results - Elk River, MN
Minnesota Real Estate Expert

I've seen it a lot.  I dont think its worth a $1000 a job...I dont know though.

Nov 23, 2008 05:58 AM #39
AMBER NOBLE GARLAND - Top Real Estate Expert, Property Tax Appeal Specialist & Author
Strategic Marketing Expert & Relocation Specialist Serving New Jersey and nationwide! - Marlboro, NJ
- The Agent You Can Trust To Deliver REAL Results!

Wow..what rock have you been living under? Many drug addicts, homeless people and poor people in general (around large metropolitan areas especially) have vandalized properties and stolen fixtures, hardware off the doors & cabinetry, not to mention the piping (copper and otherwise). Ever been to Newark, NJ or Philly or Brooklyn or Houston or Boston? This has been going on for ages. Sometimes though it's not always a "crackhead" believe it or not, and now-a-days it's no longer an "urban" issue but rather an American poverty issue. It's sad and unfortunate, but true.

Nov 23, 2008 06:14 AM #40
Tracy Miller
Canton, MS
S. S. Specialist

Scott, I'm sorry to hear about the problems you're having with vandals destroying your homes for the copper, but unfortunately, it's an all too common story.  I too have seen many properties ripped apart just so drug addicts can get to the copper.  I've even had short sale deals that were approved, but then when my investors went back to inspect the properties one last time and discovered the new damage they immediately backed out the deals.  I didn't blame them though one bit for backing out --- because there wasn't much left of a profit margin for them to be gained from the deal.

Nov 23, 2008 06:45 AM #41
Heather the Realtor Orlando, Lake Mary
LemonTree Realty - Orlando, FL
First Time Home Buyers, Bank Owned Homes

Oh I have seen this in tons of homes here in Central Florida they go through and tear out any and all copper piping throughout the homes its sad.

Nov 23, 2008 06:58 AM #42
Robert May
Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate - Lethbridge, AB
Real estate consulting

i had no idea copper was worth that much.

Nov 23, 2008 07:01 AM #43
Jim & Maria Hart
Brand Name Real Estate - Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC Real Estate

So disturbing that someone would go to all that work just so they can get their next fix, if in fact it was a user who tore the place up.  It's becoming so common these days :(

Nov 23, 2008 07:16 AM #44
Tera Tyner
Lubbock Homes - Lubbock, TX

I just think that is nuts. I have seen some houses that people just tore up because they had to move, but I have not seen any that people just go in and do that. YOu almost just want to laugh just because. Too funny!

Nov 23, 2008 07:22 AM #45
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Scott,  Lots of folks stripping electrical out of empty/construction projects.  The new A/C units are walking away too.

Nov 23, 2008 08:05 AM #46
June Piper-Brandon
Houwzer Inc - Baltimore, MD
Piecing Dreams One Home at a Time

I list and sell a lot of investment properties.  We were evicting some tenants and they were given permission to go into the property and remove their items.  I was standing at the curb with the Sheriff and out comes the tenant with the radiator and the other one coming out with the pipes.  I said, hey hold on a minute those aren't yours.  They said, well they were in my apartment so their mine.  I called the police and they came and the thieves were arrested.  I thought the judge was going to choke when the thieves tried to justify how the pipes and radiators were their personal possessions.  Long and short of it, drug addicts will stop at nothing to feed their habits.

Nov 23, 2008 08:14 AM #47
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

We're having quite a problem with this also.  I've discovered several empty houses that have been stripped.  It may not be crack heads but just unemployed contruction workers.  Crack heads may not be skilled enough to know how to take it out.  I consider them experienced thieves who methodically go about their business.  Until the buyers of the copper are shut down the thefts will continue.

Nov 23, 2008 08:31 AM #48
Jane Wallace
HomeSmart Cherry Creek - Denver, CO
CRS | SRES, Denver Real Estate

How do you know it was a crack head, I think it was Joe the Plumber

Nov 23, 2008 08:55 AM #49
Justin Ukaoma
Vizion KC - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate Investments

Looks like this problem is all over.  Out here not only do they steal copper they love to steal AC units.

Nov 23, 2008 08:56 AM #50
Bruce Thomas
A-Z Tech Home Inspections, Inc. - Greensburg, PA

It doesn't have to be a bad neighborhood, I've inspected (well partly inspected) 4 in rather nice neighborhoods.  The neighbors just think it's someone working on the house.

Nov 23, 2008 09:24 AM #51
Brenda Carus
Century 21 Zwygart Real Estate - Monroe, WI

We bought a foreclosure last spring that had this happen to it.  Every bit of recyclable metal was stripped from that home. 

Nov 23, 2008 10:16 AM #52
Kim Hamblin
Bella Casa Real Estate Group - McMinnville, OR

Ha- Joe the Plumber, that is hilarious! 

After reading more of these posts, putting tenants in a vacant house doesn't seem so bad after all!

Nov 24, 2008 02:14 AM #53
Wayne Warshawsky
RE/MAX Four Corners - McKinney, TX
Realtor, ABR,IRES,CDPE,SFR Your Texas

Soo sad.  If only beer bottles would become valuable then maybe some of my ghetto listings would clean up themselves. :)

Nov 24, 2008 02:28 AM #54
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