Thieves continue to target homes under construction in the metro-east and have made off with more than $500,000 worth of materials over the past year, according to the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department.
In some cases the burglars are making off with copper wire, which they can scrap for cash.
But Sheriff Rick Watson said they have also been taking high end appliances: At one house near Millstadt thieves in October stole $60,000 worth of items. That included a $7,000 stainless steel barbecue, a $5,000 gas fireplace and about $5,000 worth of interior light fixtures.
The Sheriff's Department brought in suspects for questioning in November in connection with the case. But they passed a polygraph test and were released.
Anyone who spots suspicious activity during evening or early morning hours at construction sites is asked the call the Sheriff's Department at 277-3500.