A crime wave is hitting Utica and the surrounding areas pretty hard. It's not a new crime, but it keeps happening and there is not much that can really be done to stop it. But, there are  a few things you can do to help prevent your home from becoming a target.

Thieves Targeting This in Your Home

One of the most valuable components of your home is the copper that lies beneath your home in the basement. If you have plumbing that utilizes copper in the pipes, you may be a target for criminals looking to cash in.

If you have a vacant home or are looking to sell a vacant home you could be at risk.

Andrew Derminio, WIBX
Andrew Derminio, WIBX

According to ScrapMonster.com, the current prices for scrap copper run anywhere from $1.25 per pound to over $3.00 per pound depending on condition and the specific type of copper.

That makes a vacant home very appealing to a criminal looking to score.

So, how does a criminal cash in on your copper? It's simple. They break into your home and cut all the copper right out from under you, literally.

A Recent Theft

Andrew Derminio, WIBX
Andrew Derminio, WIBX

One home in Utica was recently hit and the incident was quite jarring. Whomever this suspect was literally broke in, walked to the basement, cut out every bit of copper they could get their hands on (including the central air conditioning copper wiring) and left.

All that was left behind was some residual water that was inside the copper pipes. Very scary.

You can see in the photo below that they just busted right through the back door without a care in the world.

Andrew Derminio, WIBX
Andrew Derminio, WIBX

Defend Your Home Against Copper Thieves

There are some things you can do and should do if you have a vacant home or plan on selling a vacant home to prevent this from happening to you.

  1. Invest in one or more blink or ring cameras. Just the mere sight of these devices will deter any would be thief from entering the property. This is smart anyway so you can constantly monitor your property while nobody is there.
  2. Get a lamp or two on a timer. You can get a cheap lamp or light source from Walmart or other fine retailers and plug them into a timer that you can set to go on and off at the time of your choosing. This will give the illusion that you or someone else is home and awake.
  3. Get curtains and keep them closed. You don't want people to be able to walk by the house, look inside and see there is nobody there.

Even with all these options to keep your home safe, it's important to regularly enter the property to look around and make sure there is nothing awry. You don't want to find yourself in a position where you have to hire a plumber to redo all the plumbing in your basement or deal with an insurance company.

13 Of New York State's Most Wanted Criminals- January 2024

Below are individuals wanted by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision's (DOCCS) Office of Special Investigations who have been designated as its Most Wanted Fugitives. They should be considered armed and dangerous. This list is current as of 1/01/2024:

NEVER attempt to apprehend a fugitive yourself. If you have information on the location of any of these fugitives, you can contact OSI 24 hours a day / 7 days a week to report it. All leads and tips are treated as confidential information.

If an immediate response is necessary, such as you see the wanted person at a location, please call “911” and report it to the police.

Gallery Credit: Dave Wheeler

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