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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
Police Department
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Page updated May 7, 2014 1:08 PM

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Police Investigate Series of Copper Thefts

The Alexandria Police Department has recently seen an increase in reports of copper downspouts and gutters stolen from residential and commercial buildings. There have been at least 14 incidents since the beginning of April. These thefts occur at all hours of the day and night and thieves are targeting not just single-family homes, but churches and schools as well.
Copper theft has become a common occurrence throughout the area. The Alexandria Police Department encourages residents to take these steps to prevent the theft of copper items:

• Call the police when observing suspicious behavior around gutters or roofs; do not assume the person belongs there.
• Remove access to buildings and roofs, such as trees, ladders, and scaffolding.
• Engrave any copper tubing with the address of the property. Avoid using the property owner’s information since this may change often, whereas the property address will remain the same.
• Install a security camera with a video recorder and keep recordings for a sufficient period.
• Post signs indicating the presence of a surveillance or security system.
• Trim or remove shrubbery or other landscaping that allows thieves to hide from view.
• Increase exterior lighting and protect fixtures (such as AC units) with locked metal cages.

Detectives remind local recyclers or scrap yards to reject copper scrap that appears to have been stolen. To report a theft or to give information regarding copper thefts in Alexandria, please call the Police Department at 703.746.4444.