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Maya Rodriguez / Eyewitness News
Email: mrodriguez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mrodriguezwwl

METAIRIE, La.-- At some of the homes along the quiet streets of Old Metairie, something is missing.

'It happened to three other families in this neighborhood,' said homeowner Lisette Schroth.

What happened are copper thefts, specifically copper gutters and downspouts, which were taken from homes because of their value.

A total of seven homes in Old Metairie have reported them stolen since December. The most recent theft happened this past Monday.

'I was surprised at the demand of copper, driving professional criminals,' said Johnny, who was raised in the neighborhood and whose parents' home was hit by the copper thefts.

Lisette Schroth's home was also targeted not once, but twice since December, with a total of 50 feet of copper stolen.

'For someone to have the gall to steal all of these gutters and downspouts and all this copper and walk off with it, they really have to have nerves of steel,' she said.

A thief attempted to make off with a downspout from Mike Lappa's home. His security cameras caught it happening while the family was on vacation.

'Ironically, ours are made of aluminum,' Lappa said. 'He went to the front of the house and brazenly just ripped it off of the front of the house, folded it in half with his shoe and laid it off to the gutter for the trash people to pick up after he realized it was aluminum.'

The copper thefts have homeowners there looking for peace of mind.

'It's very annoying because it interferes with your privacy,' Schroth said.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office is now looking for a middle-aged, husky, white man, along with a vehicle described as a dark colored, four-door, 1999 to 2002 Mercury Marquis. Anyone with information on this case is being asked to call JPSO at (504) 364-5300 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

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