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Thieves targeting large appliances

Police are warning that some thieves are targeting large appliances and taking them right out of homes.

A furnace and a hot water heater were stolen from a home in Ohio, and two furnaces and a hot water tank were all reported missing in one day in the same area.

"Just because you see somebody at a house for a little while and you see them carrying out large appliance-type items, doesn't necessarily mean they're a legitimate contractor doing some work," warned Sgt. Joe Heffernan of the Toledo Police Department.

Officials say a contractor doing work is exactly what it might look like, so a lot of times potential witnesses don't think anything of it and don't call police.

"Things to look for are does it look like a contractor's vehicle? Is the house that's being worked on vacant at the time?" Heffernan said.

Officials say it's better to be safe than sorry, so if you are at all suspicious, get a description of the people, and try to get their license plate number.

Most of the time this type of crime happens at a vacant or rental home, but there is something police say everyone should do.

"People may not think to record a serial number off of a furnace or a hot water heater, but especially if you're a landlord and you have rental property, you definitely should do that," Heffernan explained.

That way you will be able to prove it is yours if the appliance is recovered later or shows up for sale online.

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