German Village has seen a number of copper thefts over the past several months, including a 40-foot copper downspout from the Golden Hobby Shop on Third Street.

German Village has seen a number of copper thefts over the past several months, including a 40-foot copper downspout from the Golden Hobby Shop on Third Street.

Though copper theft is nothing new in the village, the recent thefts have left at least one person wondering if it's worth the cost to replace a downspout that has a high chance of being taken again.

"My whole problem with all of this is because of the rules of the (German Village) Commission and the (German Village) Society and because of historical reasons, they want the building replaced with authentic materials, and those aren't cheap," said Doreen Gosha, Golden Hobby Shop director.

"I think the commission and the society and anyone else who governs old buildings need to take into context the current times and current times dictates you don't put copper outside," she continued.

The Golden Hobby Shop's downspout was stolen on two dates. The first police report was filed Aug. 15 and the second Aug. 19, Gosha said.

The Columbus Division of Police did not return calls seeking comment on how to avoid copper theft.

Gosha estimated the cost to replace one of the stolen downspouts was $2,000, not including the time and labor it takes to reattach the item.

"The city does (replace downspouts) but we are talking at least a six-hour day to replace one of these, and that doesn't include the lifts," Gosha said.

On the copper market, she said the most recent stolen downspout would fetch about $1,200.

The Golden Hobby Shop, 630 S. Third St., a consignment shop run by the city, at one time had eight copper downspouts.

To add insult to injury, the last theft occurred almost a year after the last downspout was stolen.

"What I don't get is how somebody can get a piece off that is that high and nobody around here hears a darn thing," Gosha said.

Gosha said the thefts are not covered by insurance.

An option to help protect the downspouts would be to install more lighting around the 147-year-old building's outside.

This too, however, has a downside.

"Well, then that lighting still has to be approved by the German Village Commission," she said. "And the lighting they want us to get has to be historically accurate, which is expensive. But when it comes to someone's safety I would hope you'd bend the rules a little bit."

Gosha said she understands the need for preservation and respects it, but believes that exemptions are needed.

To help combat the theft, Gosha asked that area residents to be observant and in contact with neighbors. She pointed to the German Village Society's Neighbors 4 Neighbors newsletter as particularly helpful.

George Lekorenos, of Alarm One Security, has come up with a way to thwart copper theft. He tied his downspouts into a security system.

"I did it in my own home because my downspouts were stolen and I tied them in after the fact," Lekorenos said.

Though the process is not advertised, Lekorenos said he has hooked one other person's downspouts to an alarm system. He can also add air conditioners to an alarm system.

He said he is unaware of anyone else in Columbus who attempts the process.

"You just have to be creative," he said. "It's very difficult to detect if it is done properly. We have to try to stay one step ahead of the bad guys."