PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (FOX 29) - Brass fire department connectors are being stolen at an alarming rate in Northern Liberties and Fishtown.
Matt Dunphy captured surveillance video outside Northern Liberties home. In the video, you see a man him walk up in front of his house. Dunphy says 15 minutes later, the man walked away with what's called a brass fire department connector.
"In the last month there was a big fire in the neighborhood and this is a safety concern. Taking sprinkler heads if something goes wrong in any of these buildings these are here for safety," Dunphy said.
Dunphy is not alone. A restaurant down the block was hit, so was a building across the street.
FOX 29 learned brass valves are being swiped by the dozen from properties all over Northern Liberties and Fishtown.
In fact, several businesses didn't even know they were hit until we told them.
"I had no idea like that could be sold on the black market--that's pretty crazy," business owner Jeremy Lee said.
Several surveillance photos show what appears to be the same man. FOX 29 found the brass valves cost in the hundreds of dollars to replace brand new. Police believe the thief is selling them to scrap at pennies on the dollar.
So far, police have not identified any suspects..They are still reviewing surveillance images but several have told FOX 29's Chris O'Connell they recognize the man and have seen him in the neighborhood within the last few days.