Burglars Strip Carbon County Home

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LAUSANNE TOWNSHIP -- Burglars stripped a home in Carbon County to the bare bones.  People who live near the property on Gera lane say they watched the former tenants as they stole copper piping and more.

One neighbor who spoke with us said, "You`d notice cars piling scrap in, people taking it.  The oil tank was the biggest thing.  You seen them take the oil out of the tank, put it in garbage cans, wheel it, then the next thing you know the whole oil tank is being scrapped. "

State police say the burglaries happened earlier this month. They say the owner of the property lives out of town had no idea what was going on.

People in the area say they believe the thieves sold the materials they took from the house for scrap.

"Because they`re drug addicts, that`s what I believe.  Normal people just don`t do something like that, they have a serious problem," a neighbor said.

The owner of Brenner Recycling in Hazleton says he sees criminals trying to scrap metal for cash all too often.

"We work with police very closely, probably an average of two to three times a week on some different cases that they`re here investigating crime around the area," said Paul Brenner.

Brenner hasn't been alerted to this case, but says he and other scrappers use a website called scraptheftalert.org to track recently reported thefts.

"We`re all on the lookout for this material coming in and then we can contact the police and hopefully put a bad guy away," Brenner said.

The former tenants have since moved and police aren't saying if they will be charged in this crime.

Those who live near the house in Carbon County say they`re glad their neighborhood has quieted down, but they won`t be able to rest until those responsible for these crimes are caught.

"It`s getting out of hand, they`re afraid to leave their homes and it`s getting like a neighborhood watch that we turned into here.  We`re watching each other`s stuff," a neighbor said.

State police say they are continuing to investigate this case and anyone with information is asked to contact them.