In the United States, copper theft is responsible for over $1 billion worth of damage each year and the problem is getting worse. Just one of the reasons that copper wiring is occasionally stolen from buildings is that the market price of copper is high. At times, copper is worth $4.50 per pound. This is not the only reason. The rise of unemployment is still an issue and many people who have no job look for an easy way to get out of debt and feed their families. Another reason is that it is believed that crime will increase when the climate temperature increases. This is when most criminals engage in crime because it is easier to do in warm weather.
Copper theft continues in the United States because the risk of punishment for stealing the copper is really low so a thief will know that if they are caught in the act, they will not have to pay too dearly for the crime they commit. Really some folks are quite dumb and stupid to try and steal live copper wire that lights them up and kills them. In the state of Illinois, one man died from ripping live copper wire from a substation. What a fool! He was lit up so bad that it shocked and blew him completely out of his shoes.
Some cities in the United States have had to go without power as a result of copper theft. This is beginning to get crazy. People steal central air conditioner units to strip them down for money leaving the homeowner with no air in the midsummer heat. So, you can drive up at the scrap yard, show your identification and the identification could be fake and get paid. Sounds like a very easy job, but is it worth it and the embarrassment that goes along with it.
It is not worth the people you hurt or the businesses and homes that you destroy or damage because of a bad habit that you cannot control, like drug addiction. Drug addicts favorite job is copper theft. They will do anything to get another fix, and that includes stripping their neighbors home of copper wire or the store down the street. Strict jail time should be imposed on copper thieves along with paying back what they have stolen and destroyed. There are also plenty of places that a criminal can deliver community service like picking up trash and cleaning out ditches. Give them a real job and see how tired they will feel and how much energy they will have when it comes to stripping wire.