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NIAGARA FALLS – Two unrelated copper thefts were reported Monday, and in one the burglar was caught in the act.

In the 500 block of 24th Street, the property owner told police he arrived at the house at 10:30 a.m. and saw a man exiting the rear of the vacant building and running west toward 23rd Street.

The victim said he gave chase, but lost him in a yard. He noted that the man was carrying a duffel bag which appeared to contain copper pipes. Inside in the apartment’s kitchen a small stack of copper pipes appeared to have been left behind by the suspect. The owner took the remaining pipes, police said. Damage was estimated at $1,000.

In an unrelated case a property owner in the 1800 block of 16th Street told police that a person broke a basement window and removed the copper plumbing line connected to the water meter. A tenant on a second floor said he noticed a man leaving the area on a bicycle, but did not call police, according to the owner. Total loss and damage was estimated at $80.