AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) -- Ty and Jennifer Rudisaile woke up one morning last week to a cold home.
"I noticed something was off right away with heat in the house," Ty said.
He figured their furnace had stopped working. Jennifer called an HVAC company to come troubleshoot the problem, but then noticed something odd outside the family's house.
She noticed footprints leading from the street near their home to the side of the house, where the home's gas meter was once located.
Someone had removed the entire unit. Jennifer immediately called her husband at work.
"She said, 'Honey, there's pipes that are just hanging on the side of the house.' I was like, 'What do you mean, pipes hanging on the side of the house?' That's when I rushed home thinking, 'I've got to see this,'" Ty said.
It turns out someone had stolen the natural gas meter. The motive is unknown, but Ty believes someone took it to use it.
"The Xcel Energy guys said definitely not for scrap, the way they took it off," Ty said.
"I've never seen anything like it in my life. I had no idea that was a thing. I just couldn't believe someone would do that. We've all been through some pretty hard times, but I have not thought to steal someone's meter," said Jennifer.
Xcel Energy says meter thefts are extremely rare. The utility company tells the FOX31 Problem Solvers this is the only one they know of in the Denver area in more than a year.
Regardless, the Rudisailes are now planning to install a security camera outside their home just in case the thief or thieves return.