SOUTH HAVEN | Authorities said a copper thief may have fallen through a ceiling breaking into an unoccupied house.
A contractor doing repairs on a home in the 300 West block of County Road 700 North called the Porter County Sheriff's Department on Thursday morning when workers discovered damaged drywall and items missing from the home.
Investigators said it appears the burglar was able to get into the garage, then accessed the attic, which extended over the home. Police found a large hole in the ceiling and insulation on the floor of the kitchen where the burglar either fell from the attic or broke through to gain access to the home.
Police said the water heater, copper piping from inside the house and from the air conditioner were taken. They also reported damage to drywall where the burglar apparently tried to find additional copper pipe.
Authorities estimated $750 worth of items and material taken and another $400 worth of damage to the drywall. Police collected evidence at the scene, which included a cigarette butt, photographs of footprints and tire tracks near the home.