THIEVES hunting valuable scrap metal broke into homes to steal copper pipes and electric meters.
They targeted two empty properties on Queen Street, Market Rasen causing water damage to a shop below one of the houses.
One of the houses, broken into overnight on July 25-26, was being renovated. Thieves got in through a first-floor window and stole electric meters.
The second incident happened at a rental home sometime over the past two weeks after tenants had moved out. Thieves stole a water meter and copper cylinders and pipes, leading to a leak and water damage to a shop below the property. The incidents are being linked at this stage.
Theft of copper from unoccupied properties is an ongoing issue across the county due to the high scrap value of the metal.
Thieves are often targeting pipes and boilers and the ripping out of central heating systems has led to extensive flooding and damage on a number of occasions.
As the problem continues, landlords are being urged to consider investing in better security for their properties while they are unoccupied and to visit them as regularly as possible to make checks.
They are also being advised to make sure water supplies are turned off and central heating systems are drained in order to minimise the impact of the damage if they do become victims.
Police are appealing for information about the incident. Call Lincolnshire Police with information on 0300 111 0300 or to give information on criminals call Crimestoppers anonymously 0800 555 111.