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BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - Authorities in southwestern Illinois' St. Clair County say thieves who are targeting homes that are being built have stolen materials worth more than $500,000 in recent months.

Sheriff Rick Watson tells the Belleville News-Democrat (http://bit.ly/1hgQ0Zm ) that the culprits have made off with copper wire they can sell for scrap, as well as high-end appliances.

Authorities say thieves took $60,000 worth of items from one Millstadt house in October. That included a $7,000 stainless steel barbecue, a $5,000 gas fireplace and about $5,000 worth of interior light fixtures.

Many of the thefts are taking place at night or early morning.

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Information from: Belleville News-Democrat, http://www.bnd.com

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