SOUTH ST. LOUIS ( - In a span of a week, at least three homes in Tower Grove South were hit by copper thieves.

The homes were all vacant and some had for sale signs in their yards.

“She was crying and said someone had broken into the house and taken the copper pipes out,” said Luis Arellano. His ex-wife found their home ripped of its copper, cigarette butts everywhere and the thieves even stole the soda from the fridge.

Dan Sale, the CEO of the St. Louis Realtor’s Association, said it’s something realtors are worried about.

“It’s very frustrating because what might amount to $25 or $30 worth of copper they can create thousands and thousands in damage,” said Sale.

Sale said the best thing to do is ensure the home doesn’t look vacant. Keep lights on, don’t let mail or newspapers pile up and have a neighbor keep an eye on the home.

Arellano said they also removed their “for sale” sign, hoping to rely on their realtor and online sources like Zillow to sell their home once they make the repairs caused by thieves.

“This pushes everything back,” Arellano said.

Copyright 2018 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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