Thieves stealing solar panels in Alpine neighborhood

ALPINE, Calif. (KGTV) -- -

The unusual theft of some mounted, pricey solar panels could point to a surprising motive.

Two days before he closed on a home in Alpine, Michael Heidtbrink found out two men -- captured on video - hopped a fence and grabbed 16 solar panels valued at some $15,000 thousand dollars. The left behind a trail of metal parts.

The big question: Why? In parts of Northern California, some law enforcement believe stolen panels are being used to cut energy costs for illegal marijuana grows.

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