KEITH WHITCOMB JR.
BENNINGTON -- Police said the theft of copper from a heating system at a Monument Avenue home led to a propane leak that sent a woman to the hospital.
According to Bennington police, on Wednesday, the woman who owned the home was showing it to prospective buyers when she smelled propane. She discovered that someone had entered the basement in an attempt to remove the copper from the heating system.
According to Lt. Lloyd Dean, of the Bennington Police Department, this act severed the main line between the heater and outside fuel tanks and forced the thieves to flee.
He said they did not get away with much copper, but Bennington Fire Department was called to the scene to flush the house of gas. The Bennington Rescue Squad also took the homeowner to Southwestern Vermont Medical Center where she was treated and released.
Police did not release the woman's name, but said she was not living in the home. The burglary is believed to have occurred sometime within the last month.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact Cpl. Christopher Lauzon at 802-442-1030.
To prevent burglaries and thefts from vacant or seasonal homes, police recommend the following:
* Have the Post Office hold your mail. Don't let mail and newspapers accumulate, as it's a sign no one is there regularly.
* Have police do a house check, or have a friend or neighbor keep an eye on the place.
* Make sure the lawn gets mowed regularly, as an uncut lawn is also a sign of vacancy.
* Make use of timed lights.
Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr