NPR recently featured a story about a nearly completed construction project in Roxbury, Massachusetts hit by the latest vandalism craze—theft of copper. But instead of taking the copper telephone wiring so popular with most thieves, this team removed several hundred dollars worth of copper pipes, and left the facility manager with a flooded building.
The Ventura County Star reports:
Some builders in the country have reported losing thousands of dollars in water damage from people ripping copper pipes — worth only a few hundred dollars in salvage — from their fittings.
Because the price of metals is up worldwide, there is a great demand, fueling the rise in thefts.
A recent National Public Radio report explained that many of the thieves are sophisticated, bypassing local scrap dealers who could very well recognize the items and turn them in, and dealing instead with overseas buyers.
Bronze is also being targeted for its high copper content, pushing vandals to steal everything from commemorative plaques to sentimental statues. A less significant threat to operations than theft of copper pipes or wire, this petty act still has the ability to disrupt business and disturb employees and visitors to schools, houses of worship, auditoriums, and other public (and openly accessible) areas.
So watch out for your copper; you never know when you may be targeted!