Sheriff: Burglars Target Vacant Homes for Copper Pipes

McHenry County Sheriff issues a Crimestoppers Bulletin asking for assistance from community about copper thefts.


The McHenry County Sheriff’s office is asking residents to be on the lookout for suspicious vehicles and people following reports of burglaries where offenders broke into homes and cut copper piping from the basement.

Deputies have taken numerous reports of abandoned and foreclosed properties being burglarized in Marengo, Wonder Lake and McHenry since December, according to a Crimestoppers Bulletin.

Generally, the offenders force entry into the home and use cutting tools to strip copper pipes from the basement of these homes, the bulletin stated. It is also common for offenders to take air conditioner units and other large appliances which house copper inside them.

With the downturn in the economy, and copper fluctuating between $3 and $4 dollars per pound, there has been ample motivation for offenders to conduct these burglaries. On average, a house may have 50 to 60 pounds of copper pipes in the basement.

Evidence technicians have processed each location and information has been gathered through neighborhood canvassing. At one location, a small green truck was observed leaving the area, deputies said. Many times offenders will utilize two vehicles, with one acting as a lookout.

Sheriff Keith Nygren encourages anyone with information regarding these investigations to contact either the McHenry County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-762-STOP (7867), the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 815-338-2144, or the tip line email address; TipLine@co.mchenry.il.us.

Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000.00 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the offender(s). Crime Stoppers does not use caller ID.


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