THIEVES who wrenched a length of pipe from the side of a Hall Green business could have caused a major explosion if the gas had been connected.
Staff at Bathroom World arrived at work last Tuesday (August 5) to find that the copper pipe had been ripped away.
John Petford, owner of the Stratford Road premises, thinks that the people responsible may have been disturbed since the jagged piece of pipe was still hanging from the building.
Fortunately the gas supply was switched off for maintenance work in May this year, otherwise the situation could have been a lot more serious.
As it stands, it will cost £500-£600 to repair the damage caused by the vandals.
The 65-year-old businessman is not optimistic about the culprits being caught - CCTV systems previously installed on the premises have also been torn from the wall.
Bathroom World has been in Hall Green for the past 40 years and according to John there have been other incidents of anti social behaviour in the neighbourhood and the problem seems to be getting worse.
"At the garage over the road someone cut out all the catalytic converters on the vehicles.
"There have been a lot of problems with people stealing copper and aluminum for scrap. They collect manhole covers, lead off roofs and I know they have had a lot of problems on Hall Green Parade."
The price of scrap metal has risen to an all-time high with thieves targeting everything from road signs to church roofs.
In June, thieves stripped lead from St Anne's Catholic Church in Chelmsley Wood and there have also been problems at north Solihull Sports Centre.
Mike Andrews, a Shirley scrap metal dealer, has said previously that thieves are particularly keen to get their hands on lead - which today sells for £1,000 a tonne.