We Had SimilarCopper...
...thefts here in Las Vegas. Thieves would create $10,000 worth of labor for telco workers in order to get $500 worth of copper. The other value reducer was chopping the copper coils from air conditioner units.
The problem was brought under control by requiring ID at recycling centers. At first this was not extremely successful, but a few sting operations weeded out the dishonest scrappers.
ISTR in Texas a hundred year old state law makes POSESSION of over 1500 feet of copper wire prima facie evidence of theft.
A few minutes ago the price of copper was $3.75. Up to the minute prices are here:
So i have a choice, 12 ounces of copper, or 12 ounces of 211.