Conyers police investigate rash of copper thefts from vacant homes

Burglaries occurred in vacant homes

CONYERS — A number of vacant homes in Conyers have been the target of copper thieves, according to the Conyers Police Department.

The Police Department has been investigating a series of home break-ins that have occurred in the past several days. In each of the cases, the burglars appeared to have broken into the homes through a back door, entered the attic and removed copper piping from the walls and ceiling that is connected to the air conditioning units.

CPD Officer Kim Lucas said the burglaries were first discovered Tuesday by an officer on routine patrol in an area off Eastview Road. He noticed the back door to an unoccupied home had been damaged.

“From there, we have been canvassing the area and have found more and more,” Lucas said.

Conyers police are currently looking into about eight break-ins believed to have occurred in the past 10 to 14 days.

The areas where homes have been targeted include St. Julian’s subdivision, Village Place subdivision and Bridgestone subdivision.

“We haven’t experienced these type of burglaries in quite some time because metal recycling laws have been strengthened,” Lucas said. “We are asking people to be aware of homes in their neighborhoods, and if they see any suspicious vehicles or a lot of activity at what had been a vacant home for some time, do not hesitate to call the police.”

She said since the CPD has been investigating the burglaries, some residents have come forward to report seeing a white van pulled into the driveway of a vacant home, but did not think to report it at the time because it looked like a professional cleaning company’s vehicle.

Lucas said that burglaries in vacant homes can be challenging because it is hard to determine exactly when the break-in might have occurred.

Another problem, she said, “is that many are bank-owned and we have a hard time getting a hold of the owners.”

Lucas said bank-owned properties are relatively easy to locate, particularly if they have a for sale or for rent sign in a window or yard.

Anyone with information about suspicious activity is asked to call the Conyers Police Department at 770-483-6600 or anonymous tips can be left at 770-483-TIPS (8477).