Is Copper’s Power Waning?


A 7-month low hit copper yesterday in New York futures trading. The fall was driven by concerns of softer import data from China.

As interesting as the up trend has been, a continue decline could well be appreciated. It would at least subdue some of the negativity its rise has made.

The ban on melting pennies and its copper and the new legislation to remove it is one thing. That should sort itself out.

But the daily and nightly copper news stories are something else. Recycling discarded or unused copper is a good story. However, the stream of scavengers who steal copper are absolutely mind-boggling.

Recent copper theft news articles

A Google news search for the keyword phrase "copper theft", resulted in 150 articles in the last 43 days. (The date range used was October 1 – November 12, 2007 and duplicates were excluded.) These articles from the last few days are just a small sampling.

Copper thieves blackout Rita Ranch streets, AZ – 19 hours ago
For the past two and a half years, copper theft has been a problem in the city of Tucson. In February, thieves targeted lights on Tucson Blvd. and Campbell
Copper thieves cost Telus more than just wire
Vancouver Sun, Canada – 22 hours ago
It’s the $2-million question: How to stop thieves from cutting Telus Corp.’s phone lines to extract the mother lode of copper hidden inside.
Palmetto man charged in $1 million copper heist
The, GA – Nov 12, 2007
And all too often, copper theft is directly linked to the use of methamphetamine. An arrest made by Fairburn Police Nov. 2 is a glowing example of the
Mom with criminal past faces felony shoplifting charge
Portsmouth Herald News, NH – Nov 12, 2007
She is alleged to have committed the copper theft on Sept. 19, when she was reportedly stopped by a store employee on her way out the door.
State drug enforcers are facing new threat: Different meth form on
Tulsa World, OK – Nov 12, 2007
A high cost: Police are also noticing more identity-theft crimes, burglaries and copper theft, Woodward said, partially because meth addicts must pay more
Copper value rises, and so do thefts
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, CA – Nov 10, 2007
Copper theft is a rising problem in the Inland Valley and throughout the nation as its demand overseas has kicked up the price per pound.
UPDATE: Mayor says he’s going to declare apartment complex
Macon Telegraph, GA – Nov 9, 2007
Macon Water Authority representative Frank Patterson said some of the complex’s buildings have fallen victim to copper theft and water continued to flow
Pair accused in Albertson’s copper theft
KVUE, TX – Nov 9, 2007
Warrants have been issued for two people the Austin Police Department said were involved in taking copper from a grocery store’s air conditioning units.
Brown Introduces bill aimed at stopping copper theft
The Hillsdale Daily News, MI – Nov 9, 2007
Cameron S. Brown introduced legislation this week to help curb copper theft by requiring individuals selling the scrap metal to show photo identification.
Thieves Swipe Copper From Tampa Church
First Coast News, FL – Nov 9, 2007
TAMPA, FL (AP) — Tampa police are investigating a copper theft at an area church. The Reverend Danny Schaffner noticed copper coils from two large air
Copper theft strikes new school site
Northeast Georgian, GA – Nov 9, 2007
The recent rise in the price of scrap copper has led to copper theft across the area and is not specific to the school. Habersham County School System
Copper theft nets man 18 months
Chillicothe Gazette, OH – Nov 9, 2007
A Chillicothe man arrested while trying to take copper from Glatfelter last year has received 18 months in prison. Michael J. Castle, 40, of 898 Madison
Schools suffer metal thefts
Town Crier, UK – Nov 9, 2007
Two schools in Huntingdonshire have been the victims of lead or copper theft – Hinchingbrooke School in Huntingdon and Priory Park Infant School in St Neots
Copper theft caught on camera
MyFox Tampa Bay, FL – Nov 8, 2007
TAMPA – Tampa police are hoping for a break in one of the biggest copper thefts they have seen in months, because the thieves were caught on camera.
Police nab man under new copper theft law
KHOU, TX – Nov 8, 2007
Months ago, Houston began requiring scrap metal dealers to record the identities of their customers. On Thursday, police announced their first arrest based
Copper thieves target Austin Boy Scouts
KVUE, TX – Nov 8, 2007
But the Boy Scouts are not the only recent victims of copper theft. In mid-September, weeks after the Junior League of Austin helped out three separate
Mom said to have had 5-year-old at Newington copper theft
Foster’s Daily Democrat, NH – Nov 8, 2007
BY CHARLES McMAHON PORTSMOUTH — Police say a convicted drug user has been charged with felony shoplifting because she had her 5-year-old child with her when
Lancaster hayride stolen by Bear Creek crook
Pegasus News, TX – Nov 8, 2007
Duncanville’s Citizens on Patrol amped up highway observation this year due to copper theft along the interstate. Thieves turn hundreds of dollars in profit
OPP seek help in copper wire theft – Nov 8, 2007
By Staff WAWA, ON – The Superior East Wawa OPP is currently investigating a theft of copper wires taken from the Andrew’s Generating Station
City employees nabbed for copper theft
City Vision, South Africa – Nov 8, 2007
FOUR employees of the City of Cape Town and a security guard have been caught stealing copper cable from a council depot in Guguletu.
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[…] Few are likely to spark up the firing furnace to melt pennies (especially since in could land you in jail). However, good things have a habit of attracting the unsavory-minded. If you have copper, a thief may be eying it. Worse, a thief may be willing to risk loss of limb or life in getting copper that’s still in use. There are many incredible reports of such incidents. […]