METAL thefts across the city have cost Milton Keynes Council close to £100,000.
The price of scrap metal is on the rise again and police have said people now need to be vigilant to catch the thieves in the act.
Theft of copper pipe, which is stolen from new build homes and council properties being renovated, has cost around £80,000.
Around 47 drain covers, costing the council £300 each have been stolen since September 26 in areas including Linford Wood, Bletchley and Shenley Lodge.
Det Insp Mark Glover said: “We have increased our visits to scrap dealers in and around the city and we are appealing to the public to tell us of anything suspicious.
“The people stealing these things are being very cute, using work, flat bed vans with orange lights on and wearing fluorescent jackets.
“It is very hard to stop and question someone who looks so official so if the timing seems strange, for example if you see someone around on a Sunday or outside the regular working day then please let us know.
Now with the added cost of 18 bollards, stolen from areas including Campbell Park and Furzton Lake, the cost has risen to over £100,000.
A man was arrested in the Broughton area at the weekend after his flat bed Transit van was found to be full of drain covers.
He has since been released on police bail with no charge.
DI Glover also raised an important issue involving the theft of copper cabling which sees thieves pull wires out of the ground, burn the plastic covering off and then sell the cable.
In September this saw businesses in the Kingston Retail Park area lose phone lines and internet connectivity for several days.
Police are increasing patrols in vulnerable areas and despite a number of other arrests people are being warned to be extra vigilant as the nights draw in.
Police will be visiting areas on intelligence-led patrols and will post a new poster card through the doors of those whose homes appear to be at risk.
If you see anything suspicious call police on 101 or you can get in touch with Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.