LUBBOCK, TX - A homeowner reported to us that five of his rental properties had been broken into and all the copper pipes were stolen in the past six months.
Randy Prcin owns several low income houses in Central Lubbock neighborhoods. Many of the homes switch residents frequently and he believes the thieves are watching the houses to know when to break in.
"It wasn't vacant very long, that's part of the trick," Prcin says. "If they are vacant longer than a week, it seems like they have eyes on the house, they know the area, they know what's happening."
In the most recent break in, the thieves kicked a gas line, letting out gas for three days before anyone noticed.
Prcin estimates that the thieves are making around $20 off the stolen copper but it's costing him thousands in repair bills.
Prcin filed police reports but he says that they haven't been able to give him many answers.
"They told me to leave the house open and unsecured until the detectives could get here," Prcin said. He's afraid to do this since there's still copper in the home.
He believes that the metal is either being sold to illegal scrap yards or on the street. We spoke with Jarvis Metals who told us what they do to make sure they don't buy stolen metal.
"We ask a lot of questions and if something is not right, we turn it down," owner of Jarvis Metals David Bayouth said. " We don't want to buy stolen material."
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