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Police are looking for information on a string of thefts

Farmington police are looking for information on a series of break-ins that happened at homes under construction last week.

Approximately eight homes were affected by the string of thefts and burglaries that occurred sometime between the evening hours of March 21 and the early morning March 22. In most cases, the thieves stole copper piping, tools and other construction materials.

"Copper is going for a pretty good price nowadays," said Farmington police detective sergeant Lee Hollatz. "It's not uncommon for people to be stealing copper. Law enforcement agencies all around have been seeing an increase of copper theft in the last few years."

The amount stolen, and the amount of damage to the homes, varies. The homes are under construction in the 4500 block of 196th Street.

Damage of about $250 was reported at one home, where holes had been kicked in the walls. Another group of homes -- four in one report -- totaled about $500 in losses. Copper pipes taken one house under construction totaled about $1,300, Hollatz said.

In some instances, the copper pipe had already been installed in the home and thieves actually ripped it out in order to take it.

Two model homes were also broken into. Both reported the burglars gained entrance by breaking the sliding glass doors on the homes. At one, piping was reported missing and the air conditioner was broken. Damage was estimated at $2,500 for that home. A laptop computer, soda and candy were taken from the other model home. Hollatz estimates damage from that home to be around $1,500.

Hollatz asks that anyone who may have seen some suspicious activity around the model homes and homes under construction last week to call the investigations department at 651-280-6700.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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