LOWELL -- Police are working to determine who has been breaking into homes in the Highlands to steal copper pipes in recent months.

About 10 instances have been reported in the last two or three months of people stealing pipes from water heaters or furnaces, many in homes that are for sale or in forfeiture, said police spokesman Capt. Kelly Richardson.

Police have increased patrols in the area, have used social media to urge neighbors to be vigilant, and have talked to scrap yards to try finding suspects who may have turned to the companies to sell the copper, which can fetch high prices, Richardson said.

Those with information are asked to contact Lowell police.

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