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With the price of copper at all time highs—between $3.50 and $25 per pound, depending on type—its ability to tempt enterprising thieves has also escalated.

Four former employees of Duke Energy, the largest electric power holding company in the United States, were among nine indicted recently for stealing copper wire from Duke and selling it to recyclers. Nearly every day we hear reports of the copper tubing from HVAC units being stolen. Contractors often employ 24/7 security guards to discourage thieves from stealing copper piping and fittings.

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