HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) - Hampton Police are looking for the thieves who stole copper guttering and down spouts from historic Fort Monroe early Friday morning.
"I can't believe they hit that many buildings," said Hampton resident Cato Reaves.
But police say overnight Thursday into Friday morning someone took advantage of the openness of the National Park that's open to the public 24 hours a day.
"Based on the gutter clips we see, this is probably the older more historical copper grade that was taken off this building," added Sergeant Jason Price with the Hampton Police Division.
Ten buildings inside the moat -- the most historic part of the fort, with buildings dating back the late 1800s -- had copper gutters and down spouts ripped right off the brick walls and stolen.
"It is a shame," Price said. "It really is a beautiful piece of architecture."
The theft happened in a section of the old post used for office buildings.
"There are no residents that live in this area," Price added. "These buildings are not currently occupied, but hopefully they will be soon. Unfortunately, they took advantage of the placement, the location and the time of day."
Police say it's hard to tell how much copper guttering was stolen because there were sections already missing before the crime. That also makes it hard to figure out how much the stolen copper was worth. One thing police say is for certain -- the gutters are very distinctive.
"Some of the particular guttering that was taken is a gage, a very thick copper. So, somebody might notice it in the back of a pick up truck, behind somebody's house or even somebody who might work at a salvage or metal yard might see it's unique," Price said.
"I'm surprised they got away with it," Reaves added.
The crime is even more offensive to Reaves, who spent 26 years in the Air Force.
"I'm assuming you make noise when your are banging on pipes," Reaves said.
WAVY.com was told Hampton Police officers patrol the fort 24 hours a day. There is also a Hampton Police field office at Fort Monroe.
A Chesapeake music teacher could rub elbows with celebrities and bring home a Grammy next year.
A Suffolk man told police an HVAC system weighing about three tons was stolen from his property sometime last week.
A Newport News mother was arrested in York County for drug charges while she was with her children, according to the York-Poquoson Sheriff's Office.