The world market price for copper has soared over 400 percent, in the past 5 years. As a result, copper metal thefts (and other metals) have impacted the City of Calgary and the Province of Alberta at an astonishing rate. With an apparent perceived low risk for high reward, criminals are initiating their attacks on critical infrastructure locations, telecommunications cable, electrical substations and light rail transit lines.
Recent attacks have caused significant public safety issues by creating electrocution hazards, and a multitude of disruptions to landline phone services, loss of access to the 911 system, first responders, public transportation and utilities.
Annual costs associated with the theft of copper in Alberta, are in the millions of dollars. Most attacks go beyond the simple costs of repair and replacement for stolen material… (CPS, 2012)