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Vacant Houses Target of Metal Thieves

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Springfield police say copper was the reason behind a vacant house fire on Spruce Street yesterday. And police say it’s only one example of a growing problem.

There are boarded up homes and other properties in every neighborhood in Springfield. And police say they’re targets not just for squatters but metal thieves. looking for quick money to buy drugs.

“Metal theft is unbelievable, out of control right now,” said Sergeant John Delaney, Aide to the Springfield Police Commissioner. “Copper is at an all-time high right now.”

Often, these thefts happen right under the noses of neighbors.

“We’ve had instances where trucks would pull in the driveway and they look like the owners or coming in to rehab the place,” said Delaney. “But actually they’re just breaking in and stealing the copper and all the metal out of the house.”

Abandoned properties don’t just threaten public safety, they also threaten business. In the Indian Orchard section of Springfield, there is an abandoned building in the heart of the downtown at the corner of Parker and Main Streets.

“It’s just not good for the community at large especially when we’re trying to increase the number of small businesses especially in downtown Indian Orchard.,” said Jeffrey Trask, Vice President of the Indian Orchard Citizens Council. “It makes it very difficult when you have blighted building like this.”

Springfield police say people shouldn’t hesitate to call them if they see a suspicious car at a vacant house.


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