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Stolen Copper Piping Causes Oil Spill, Police Say

$25K reward offered for information that leads to arrest in residential burglary.

A copper pipe was cut and stolen during a residential burglary on Maxim Drive that caused oil to leak into Bear Pond last week.

A vacant home was broken into across the street from the pond on Dec. 4, and a copper pipe was cut, causing oil to leak into the basement and then into the pond, according to a report supplied by Lt. Thomas Kmetz.

Kmetz said it is still unknown how much oil was in the oil tank. When the oil was found at the top of the pond, the Hopatcong Fire Department put out containment booms and absorbent pads to prevent the oil from flowing further.

Kmetz said Hudson Farm called a special hazmat environmental agency to clean up the oil in the house and in Bear Pond.

Hudson Farm is offering a $25,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to the convinction of the individual responsible for the theft, Kmetz said.

Anyone with information is asking to contact the Hopatcong Police Department at 973-398-5000.

Kmetz said there was another incident where copper piping was stolen from another home on Maxim Drive. The back door of a deck had the door knob bent up, which disengaged the lock, he said. The copper pipe was removed from the heating system that leaked water in the home, Kmetz said.

Kmetz said the copper pipe was also cut from a propane tank that was outside. He said it is unknown as to how much propane leaked out of the tank.

Lakesider December 13, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Wow Ms Guttenberger, not only do you have spare time for research, you've got pent-up anger.
The Watcher December 14, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Thanks Michelle for pointing out that they are buying up property and getting tax exemptions. Willa they are a millionaire hunt club and everything they supposedly do for towns they get to tax off their taxes which in turn raises yours. If Hudson Farms owns the property I DO CARE who pays for the cleanup. A friend of mine in town had a small oil leak and had to pay their own Hazmat bill and they do not have billions of dollars in an off shore account.
Michele Guttenberger December 14, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Lakesider - Thank you for noticing the research I put into my comments. Yes, I do find time to spare when someone is playing a reverse Robin Hood with my tax dollars and it angers me when the wealthy can hold on to their wallets while the clueless and unsuspecting middle class taxpayer picks up the tab for their outdoor recreation playground that we are granted permission on special days to walk on. Even though they are part of state land trusts. But don't worry, except for the principals of Hudson Farms, we all will be paying the taxes on these lost tax ratables that have been placed in tax exempt land trusts We will have our fair spread of that newly adjusted municipal tax rate. Remember the town wide property reavaluaion because the real estate values went down? A big factor in real estate devaluation is land trust property - that has a $0 tax rateable value. How much of a tax rate impact does 600 acres have on on your adjusted new rate? Surprised no one else feels the pain of our taxable charities.
Roseanne Marie S. December 14, 2012 at 03:18 PM
People were doing the same thing right after Sandy with the hanging power lines that were copper. Here we all are looking at all the damage and helping one another and this man is jumping up and down cutting any lines he could reach with hedge clippers until we chased him away. The guys that came to fix the lines said it's such a common occurrence lately that they always bring extra copper wire with them.
elizabeth disbrow December 21, 2012 at 03:39 PM
So ridiculous. These are the people that don't deserve to be here. If you need to steal copper because you can't afford your bills then get a job! or a second job. I don't care. Do something though besides stealing to make ends meat. How about move to a different state with cheaper properties or live in a smaller house. I myself do not have much money but I work two jobs and pay my bills. May not have luxorious things or fancy car's etc but I have a roof over my head and food to eat.

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