DETROIT (WJBK) - FOX 2 caught at least five people apparently scrapping a vacant house in broad daylight, wearing green vests to look official but only doing more damage to the property.
Reporter Josh Landon and crew were on Murray Hill Street for only a few minutes before the alleged crooks started walking to their cars one by one and speeding off.
"Here goes another house," a neighbor said. "It's nothing new around here man. It's nothing new around here. This happen all the time man. It's one thing to another."
Neighbors said they claimed to be part of a demolition crew prepping the house to be fixed up, but it appears they were after the bricks, copper, doors, and whatever else they could get hands on.
"You can't take matter into your own hands, you go over there and say something next thing you know, you get your house blown up or burned up, shot up, so that's why nobody is around saying anything," a neighbor said. "People are coming here, now they're stripping bricks off of houses. I don't know what's next."
Detroit police arrived shortly after FOX 2 did. We shared our video with them in hopes of catching the apparent thieves. Viewers are asked to take another look at them in case you have any information that can help investigators.
We also got a license plate for a tan Impala some of them drove away in: AMQ535.
Neighbors said this house has been vacant for seven years.
"We've been over here for 30 (years)," said Brandon Crittenden. "So we've seen just about everything around here."
Detroit police on scene said cracking down on scrappers is now on the department's priority list. This kind of criminal activity only gets in the way of the city making a real comeback.
"It's messed up because you can't even get people in here to fix up on the house," Crittenden said. "Then you got people coming in making it even worse."