Copper Thieves are the New Gold Diggers

Be careful if your property contains a lot of visible copper. Thieves are cashing in on the rising price of copper.

In one case, two men tried to sell copper caps to a scrap metal dealer in Chicago. The dealer became suspicious and notified Police. The two men worked at a munitions factory and the copper they were trying to sell were casings from 1.5 million rounds of ammunition. One of them is now facing a prison sentence of 245 years for stealing from the military during wartime.

In Hot Springs, Arkansas, 2,000 customers, a Wal-Mart, a mall and a hospital lost power when thieves hit an electric sub-station on April 27. Last year, we took over security at a site for a client where theives were stripping copper from electrical lines. Similar incidents are taking place all over the country. Thieves are getting so desperate that they are willing to risk getting electrocuted in order to steal the valuable metal.

Burglaries have risen by 18% so far this year throughout the District of Columbia and Police detectives are attributing much of it to the theft of copper wiring and piping. During the past 2 weeks, thieves have hit construction sites in Germantown, Clarksburg and Potomac. It is getting so bad that outdoor sculptures are starting to disappear. In Brea, California, city officials have contacted owners of bronze sculptures and advised them to step up security.

In 2000, the average price of copper was $0.83 per pound. Eight years later, the rate has jumped to $3 – $4 per pound.

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  1. scrap metal expert says:

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  2. Anonymous says:

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