Copper Thefts from Vacant Buildings

Saw this on the St. Paul E-Democracy forum:

E-Democracy.Org: default

“In recent weeks, there have been a rash of break-ins into vacant buildings where the gas lines are stolen for the copper. In several cases the gas was turned on resulting in huge and very serious gas leaks. It wasn’t until neighbors began to smell the gas that the fire department was called. These significant gas leaks can easily be ignited into a devastating explosion that can not only destroy the vacant house, but also damage neighboring property as well.”

Help me understand this one. I realize copper is valuable, but how much money are we talking about here? Should I quit my day job to become a Minneapolis copper miner, money?

Why does one choose to steal copper over aluminum? Aluminum seems easier to access. I mean, people leave it out in their alleys for you.

One thought on “Copper Thefts from Vacant Buildings”

  1. Many moons ago I had to go some grad school function with Emily (her grad school, not mine). I was bored out of my skull and gravitated toward another guy who also there because his wife was also in the grad program. But the guy got drunker and drunker as the night progressed, less and less coherent, and by the end wouldn’t shut up about the “scrap metal mafia” and how they keep him from making a decent living doing something having to do with scap metal (I couldn’t figure that part out due to his incoherence).

    So for the past many moons Emily and I have joked about the scrap metal mafia because it was the most ludicrous thing I’ve ever heard. But now you post this story and it makes me wonder…

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