It just keeps getting worse when it comes to copper thefts.

It just keeps getting worse when it comes to copper thefts.

The Independence Police Department has responded to seven reports of copper theft since April 21.

Tom Gentry, spokesperson for police, said those areas struck include the Blue Valley Activity Center, Community of Christ Beacon Heights, the Independence Athletic Complex (three separate times), the Eastside Baptist Church and the Hidden Valley Sports Complex in Blue Springs. The estimated total loss from the thefts is $45,000.

In all cases, copper was stripped from the property from a variety of areas. Gentry said police believe there is a pattern in the thefts and that each theft could possibly have been committed by the same person or persons.

“What the real concern is that these thefts can cause a public safety issue, as well as cost taxpayers money,” Gentry said. “It’s a metrowide problem.”

The last theft reported was at Eastside Baptist Church on 23rd Street, where copper wiring was stripped from the property.

However, police arrested one Independence man for burglarizing a home in an attempt to steal copper. On Monday, officers responded to a vacant home in the 1000 block of West Truman Road. They encountered the man, whose name was not released, running out of the house. They took him into custody without incident.

Gentry said the man had entered the home in an attempt to steal copper. Suspects entering vacant homes to steal copper and materials has been a growing concern for the department.

Gentry said anyone with information about these thefts, or to report suspicious activity, should call 474-TIPS or 325-7330.