Suspected copper thieves fled from a Hamilton scrap metal yard when the owner alerted police to their suspicious haul.
Police are now seeking the public's help to find where the recovered copper piling and taps came from.
Hamilton police constable Joe Pratt said police were contacted by a scrap metal dealer about a group of people trying to sell him copper piping last week.
''When the people heard we were on our way they fled, which could be seen as a bit suspicious.
''We recovered the piping and taps and on examination it appears they have come from an installation with perhaps, radiators or wet back attachments.''
Mr Pratt said a number of vacant houses have recently had their copper piping stripped from under the floor.
''The new occupants have only realised their piping is missing when they turned their taps on and no water came out, despite these reported thefts, however, the piping recovered does not match any of these victims and we would like to hear from anyone else who has had their copper pipes stolen.''
Mr Pratt encouraged scrap dealers and second hand dealers to contact police about people trying to sell suspicious property.
''By working closely with bona fide dealers we can remove a market for thieves to on-sell their stolen goods, making it harder for them to move them on and increasing the likelihood of them being caught.''
Anyone who has had copper piping stolen or who has information on the identities of the thieves is asked to contact Mr Pratt at the Hamilton Central Police Station on 07 858 6200.
Alternatively, information can be left anonymously with Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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