Councilman's Late Mother's Home Ransacked; Latest in String of Break-ins

HAMLIN, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Memories of his childhood home are tarnished for a lifelong resident of Hamlin.

Roy Lambert discovered Saturday his late mother's house on Walnut Street was not only burglarized, but ransacked.

Faucets were torn out of sinks and the bath tub.

Wires were torn out of the electric box, and pipes were taken out from behind the washer and drier.

"It just tears you all to pieces," Lambert said. "You can't hardly fix it back up."

The house has been vacant the past couple years.

Lambert is on the Hamlin City Council. He says several other houses and a church have had similar treatment in the past few months.

He says thieves have been targeting copper but are by no means limited to it.

The Doorway of Hope Church recently moved into a new building, and the Hamlin mayor says all the sound equipment was stolen from it.

Helen Napier lives across the street from Lambert’s late mother’s home.

She says every time she leaves, she's afraid of what she'll come back to.

"I have never had to be afraid in my life,” Napier said. “It's just really terrifying to an older person."

Hamlin Mayor Chris Wilkinson says police believe the break-ins are happening between 3 and 5 in the morning.

Wilkinson says they may change police officer schedules, so they'll have someone patrolling during those times. With only four officers on staff, though, they need neighbors to keep their eyes open and report anything suspicious.

Police say they do have people of interest in the case.

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