Police checking on a suspicious character at a vacant house near Central and I-135 on Wednesday found a man who had a machete, some baby powder and a meth pipe.
He claimed he had permission to be there – until the woman who owns the house at 340 N. Piatt showed up, Lt. Doug Nolte said. Further investigation revealed copper pipe had been stripped from the house, and the 52-year-old suspect had a receipt from a scrap dealer in his pocket.
“He was in the process of taking copper pipe from the walls and recycling it,” Nolte said.
Police think the man, who is homeless, had been in the house since Sunday. He admitted stealing the baby powder and machete from the house.
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The door had been pried open, the owner said, and “extensive damage” done to the house’s interior. The suspect was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail.
Burglars breaking into vacant houses is a persistent problem, Nolte said.
“If your house is going to be vacant, check on it on a regular basis,” he said.