New homes can't be sold, but not because of price - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

New homes can't be sold, but not because of price

Sowell has more than 20 years in the real estate business and says in the last couple of years copper theft has become a bigger problem. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) Sowell has more than 20 years in the real estate business and says in the last couple of years copper theft has become a bigger problem. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) - Copper theft is giving some Memphis real estate agents the blues, with home sales in jeopardy they are looking for a solution to what they are calling a growing problem.

"As agents we are talking about it," real estate agent Debbie Sowell said.

Sowell has more than 20 years in the real estate business and says in the last couple of years copper theft has become a bigger problem.

In the last year, she says two of her homes have been robbed of copper piping.

"The copper was stolen right after we got an offer, and that was an extra $2,800," Sowell said.

She says each time it happens it threatens the sale of the home, and it can cost the homeowner big bucks.

There is a recent push by the City of Memphis to catch these crooks. It is called Copper Stoppers and is modeled after the Crime Stoppers reward system.

Copper Stoppers will pay between $250 to $750 for information that leads to a conviction. Plus, tipsters can earn $1,000 for turning in someone who buys stolen copper.

"I certainly hope it will make a difference," real estate agent Stephanie Taylor said.

Taylor also wants homeowners to be aware; she recently took to social media asking homeowners to be on the look out.

Those with information leading to a copper theft arrest can call 901-528-CASH.

Copyright 2014 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

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