NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – With copper prices on the rise, thefts of the metal commonly used in buildings are growing. Though copper is often taken from construction sites, power stations and abandoned homes, thieves aren’t shying away from other sources and recently hit marinas in New England, according to a recent story in the North Andover, Mass., Eagle-Tribune.
When owner Dan Swift checked in on Hatter’s Point Marina at the end of January, he discovered someone had used a hydraulic jack to push aside a 3,800-pound dock from the door of a trailer, snapped the door’s locks with a bolt cutter and made off with the copper wire stored inside, the newspaper reported.
The long off-season for marinas makes them vulnerable to theft, Swift told the Eagle-Tribune.
At least two Newburyport, Mass., marinas reported thefts of copper sometime in the off-season, according to the newspaper. More than 1,000 feet of copper was stolen from storage at his marina at some point over the winter, said David Murphy, Newburyport Yacht Club manager.
“I don't know how, when it happened,” Murphy told the Eagle-Tribune. “You don't realize until you take things out from winter storage and start assembling.”
“Copper wire is a big commodity now for thieves,” said Brian Brunault, Newburyport police inspector, in the story. “The bigger the gauge, the bigger the profit.”
As recently as 2003, copper was less than one dollar per pound. Prices topped $4 per pound on April 16 for the second time this year. Copper currently gets $3.93 per pound. Copper can be easily exchanged for cash at disreputable scrap yards and stolen copper is not easy to identify, Brunault told the newspaper.
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