LIVERMORE FALLS, Maine — A string of copper thefts has police and residents on alert in Livermore Falls.
A dozen break-ins have been reported in just a month and damage is estimated in the thousands.
Police say the crimes are happening in town, the thieves are striking abandoned homes, so in some cases, it’s taking weeks for the break-ins to be discovered and reported.
Contractor Jason Ouellette has been remodeling a Pleasant Street apartment building for most of the summer. He knew right away that something was wrong despite leaving a light on and screwing a piece of plywood over the basement door.
Thieves still got inside over a July weekend and took off with Ouellette’s tools and the building’s copper.
In all, thieves have stolen more than $3,000 worth of copper.
Police Chief Ernest Steward says it’s been a few years since the town has seen such a string of crime.
Ouellette says because of it, at least one local resident has asked him to come put a deadbolt on her door and install a security system.
Police say they’re waiting for evidence to be processed, but they do have some leads. They’re asking residents to keep an eye out and to call police if they see anything suspicious.