A cooper thief is on the loose after a home is vandalized.
A Beckley home listed "for sale" was broken into almost 2 weeks ago.
59News spoke with the homeowner who wants to see action taken fast. Copper, the precious metal on the minds of a thief when he or she reportedly ripped apart a home on Lambert Street in Beckley, stealing wiring and pipes, household items and even parts of an air conditioning unit.
Homeowner Dallas Cooper told us when he filed a report with Beckley Police they told him this is not an unusual crime.
"They said at least 6-7 houses so far have been broken into in the Beckley area in the past couple of months or so," Cooper said.
Cooper he had a hunch as to the thief's motive for stealing a quick-cash product.
"There's people that are hooked on prescription pills and drugs and it's running them amuck as well as this whole area. It's making people do what they can to support their habits," he told us.
He'd like to see recycling companies keep better tabs on who and why copper is being sold in large amounts.
"They should keep a record every time someone deposits copper so they know this person has done this at least ten times and they should ask where it's coming from," said Cooper.
Cooper told 59News the damage alone is $18,000 and he says that doesn't even cover the cost of the items lost or stolen.
"Why can't you support yourself instead of stealing from those who actually work hard. And then you come and steal from me. I would rather give you something than have someone take it from me," Cooper added.
Stay with 59News on air and online as we continue to follow this developing story.
Dallas Cooper tells 59News that a break in at his home where thousands of dollars in copper was stolen is a sign of the prescription drug problems in southern West Virginia.
According to Cooper, the home on Lambert Drive in Beckley was up for sale and it was broken into on Friday, June 19. All the copper pipes and wires were stripped from the home. There was also water damage and an air conditioner stolen as well as other items. The damage was estimated at $18,000, not including the items that were stolen.
Detective Farley with Beckley Police Department is investigating the case, but told 59News that there have been no leads so far. Anyone with information on the copper theft is asked to call the Beckley Police Department or CrimeStoppers at 304-255-STOP.