They Stole The Copper!

Real Estate Agent with Cutler Real Estate

This past week I had an opportunity to show a vacant foreclosure property to an investor that purchases fixer uppers for eventual rental purposes. The property is a side by side ranch type duplex. The exterior of the unit is in good condition with the vinyl siding and windows being in very serviceable condition. The unit also has newer roofing.

The living rooms and bedrooms in each unit simply require interior painting and new carpeting in order to make the residence decent, safe, and sanitary. However both kitchens, baths, and utility rooms (where the water heater and furnaces are located) need gutted, an will require all new fixtures and copper plumbing. Thieves have broken into the units and stolen the copper and the air conditioner units. They did extensive damage to the walls as they even broke through the drywall in order to get every last bit of copper they could find.

Kitchen damaged by copper thieves. Jim Dvorovy Canton Ohio real estate













 Kitchen sink has been removed and all copper stripped from underneath.

BAth damaged by copper thieves. Jim Dvorovy Canton Ohio real estate













 Copper thieves damaged the bath room fixtures and wall boards

Damage by copper thieves. Jim Dvorovy Canton Ohio real estate











Second bath damaged fixtures and wall by copper thieves

Damage by copper thieves. Jim Dvorovy Canton Ohio real estate


The other side of the bathroom wall where thieves were stripping copper.

Damage caused by copper thieves. Jim Dvorovy Canton Ohio real estate

Damage to water heater and wall

Is it any wonder insurance companies will cancel a homeownes insurance on vacant homes? The damage to a property runs in thousands of dollars to the homeowner when thieves strip out the copper.


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Pat Champion
Coldwell Banker Camelot Realty - Mount Dora, FL
Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs

It's a shame what people will do these day's.  They need to understand that what goes around comes around eventually.

Jan 11, 2009 03:08 AM #1
Kelsey Barklow
Hurd Realty - Johnson City, TN

OMG. This is about the worst damage done to a foreclosure that I've ever seen and I've seen some doozies. Shameful.

Jan 11, 2009 03:26 AM #2
Richard Shuman
The Only B.S. I Have is from the University of Massachusetts - Lake Mary, FL
Real Estate Broker - Orlando Area - Love Referrals

Wow - what needs to be done is the scrap yards need to report who sells them copper so this won't keep happening!

Jan 11, 2009 03:35 AM #3
Edward & Celia Maddox
The Celtic Connection Realty - Queen Creek, AZ

I have seen forclosed homes where the copper piping and even the AC were stripped, but never seem yet where the broke into the walls like this?

Good thing the price of copper is way down right now (one of the few good things to come out of down economy).

Your QueenCreekRealEstateSpecialist


Jan 11, 2009 03:42 AM #4
Angelia Garcia
Pure Realtors - Dallas, TX

That is terrible to see.  Here in my area, they are cracking down on copper theft.  No longer can you get paid on site for the copper you take in to recycle.  They take down your information and mail you a check.  The other preventions going on is the materials are being numbered and labeled that way they can be tracked down if a theft occurred.

Jan 11, 2009 03:51 AM #5
Mike Russell
Mike Russell & Associates - Overland Park, KS
Overland Park Kansas Real Estate

that's not new, I was going to ask about the furnace & water heater but by looking at the pictures they are not worth stealing.

Jan 11, 2009 03:58 AM #6
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Wow, the vandalism you see sometimes is unbelievable!  Our Sheriff in a presentation to our property owners association just told us that copper prices have fallen and consequently the occurrences of copper theft have fallen as well as it is no longer profitable for the thieves.  There is hope!

Jan 11, 2009 04:03 AM #7
Sandy McAlpine
Search Lake Norman Homes For Sale - Lake Norman NC

unfortunately you can pawn copper for good money these days so drug addicts look for it everywhere. they get money by pawn brokers and copper dealers "no questions asked"

Jan 11, 2009 04:08 AM #8
Christina Moock
Cutler Real Estate - Canton, OH
REALTOR - Cutler Real Estate

Wow, I think that is one of the worst copper stealing jobs I have seen.  Most of the ones I've encountered were done very neatly- that's kind of like I"m complimenting the theives.

Jan 12, 2009 12:32 AM #9
M. Suzi Woods (Gravenstuk)
NOW Sharing the life and spice of the GC one day at a time - Grand Canyon, AZ
Suzi Woods, Prior Independent REBroker in MS

Jim, this is unbelievable. Good thing you had photos to show us.

Jan 26, 2009 03:58 AM #10
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

I've shown quite a few foreclosed homes, but haven't run across this problem yet. Seems to me that all businesses known for buying copper should be watched and put on notice that copper they're buying from people who can't explain where they got it from may be stolen property. And as such, these businesses are as culpable.

Maybe publicizing arrests and jailtime for such people may serve as a bit of deterrent

Feb 02, 2009 09:15 AM #11
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Jim Dvorovy

REALTOR - Canton Ohio Real Estate
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