SWAMPSCOTT (CBS) — Early Friday morning, security cameras were recording outside the Spacial Lofts Condominium Building in Swampscott.
It was around 4:15 a.m. when the front door camera shows a man walking up, grabbing a copper downspout, and carrying it away.
A friend is keeping watch nearby.
“My grandmother and my son sleep in the bedroom that is front of the street but they didn’t hear anything,” Rosalin Martinez told WBZ-TV.
Neighbors estimate the replacement cost at $3,000.
“I’m in shock. I didn’t think it would be that expensive,” said another neighbor.
Police say two homes were also hit in the past several days, along with the Church of the Holy Name on Monument Avenue.
The church is just up the way from from Town Hall where surveillance photos caught the suspects at 2:49 a.m. Tuesday. There, they also got away with valuable copper.
“Unfortunately, there are those that are very desperate,” said Steve Solomon, who runs Solomon Metals in Lynn.
He and others work with police through a theft alert system when something like this happens.
The goal is to watch out for thieves trying to sell stolen product. He’s also pushing for tougher state laws.
“That would make scrap dealers in their cities and towns register with local police, keep track of what they’re buying, keep track of who they’re buying from so that when materials that shouldn’t be coming into yards, they can be identified,” he said.
There is legislation currently being discussed on Beacon Hill which Solomon is keeping watch on.
“We’ve been very proactive trying to get legislation through that you that hopefully will put some type of clamp down on this type of behavior,” he said.
Earlier this week, Mattapoisett Police arrested three brothers accused of stealing copper water pipes and outdoor shower heads from at least 35 unoccupied homes.
Swampscott Police have heard from other victims of this type of theft including a woman in Lynn who had her gutters stolen three weeks ago.
If you recognize the men, who may be in a small gray pickup with a cap, you’re asked to call Swampscott Police at 781-595-1111.