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Salisbury homeowner catches gutter thief on surveillance video

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A man shown in this surveillance still image can be seen with his shirt off after working for about 15 minutes remove what he believed to be copper gutters from a Mitchell Avenue home. The incident occurred Monday after midnight. Police are looking for this man. Submitted photo

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By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Maggie and Jody Blackwell received a gift of outdoor surveillance cameras two weeks ago. Now, they have put them to good use.

The cameras caught footage of a man stealing the gutters off their Fulton Heights home.

The video shows a white man wearing shorts, a T-shirt, sneakers and a hat walk up to the property and yank the gutters down. He works for about 15 minutes to wriggle the gutter from the Mitchell Avenue home and haul it away.

“One he didn’t get but lifted it, and it was sticking out from the house,” said Maggie Blackwell, Salisbury’s mayor pro tem. “He got so hot that he took his shirt off.”

The man is seen in the video walking to her neighbors’ homes on either side.

When the couple noticed their gutters were gone, they searched through the video footage.

The theft happened between 12:10 a.m. and 12:24 a.m. Monday.

The Blackwells said they believe the man parked on a side street and walked to their house. They slept through the incident.

Jody Blackwell received the cameras through his job as a reward for a period of no incidents reported at his plant. He chose the cameras from among several prizes offered, Maggie said.

She downloaded the footage and turned it over to the Salisbury Police Department.

“The way we make crimes stop in town is for people to show what we know,” she said.

Blackwell say police officers told her it is unusual crime to capture such good images of a suspect committing a crime.

She said it’s funny that the thief probably took what he believed to be copper gutters because they are actually aluminum gutters painted copper.

She said the brick on her house is so dark and the shutters are dark green that they thought white downspouts looked “tacky” so they painted them to look like copper.

She urges anyone who may recognize the man in the video to contact the Salisbury Police Department at 704-638-5333 or Salisbury-Rowan CrimeStoppers at 866-639-5245.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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