In an appeal to residents, particularly those living in rural areas, a PSNI spokesperson said houses that were not being live in, or were vacant while for sale, offered many “rich pickings” for crooks.
The spokesperson added: “With high prices available for scrap metal, radiators and copper fittings are popular targets.
“In stripping the house of fittings, the thieves do not care what damage they cause at the time, or what will follow if water escapes from central heating systems.
“Keep an eye out for strange vehicles and report them to police.”
The spokesperson advised owners of vacant houses to consider consider “draining the system” and. if it was for sale, “ask yourself if you really need to have a ‘for sale’ sign outside.”