A person attempting to steal copper piping from abandoned New Bedford home causes a major explosion. The New Bedford Fire Department was dispatched shortly before 4 Monday morning to a report of the odor of natural gas. They heard a muffled explosion coming from a home at 232 Richmond Street. According to Detective Capt. Steve Vicent an individual had broken into the home and was removing copper piping and began cutting into a steel pipe that fed natural gas into the gas water heater which caused the gas to build up and ignite. There were no injuries and the house sustained major damage. A white male about 5 foot 6 inches tall, in his late 30's or early 40's was seen fleeing the scene carrying a backpack and riding an older beat up bicycle. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Greg Sirois at 508-991-6300 ext 137.