Thieves who tried to steal copper gas pipes from a Nottinghamshire property while the householder was inside risked an explosion, police have said.
The damage to a meter was discovered in Terrace Road, Mansfield, on Wednesday, with neighbours reporting a strong smell of gas.
An earlier incident had also been reported at an unused church building in Bircotes.
Officers said the person in the house was fortunate there had been no fire.
A spokesman added: "Those stealing copper piping to sell on are putting a lot of people in danger.
"We would ask everyone to keep an eye out and report anything suspicious."