Hawkins indicated that most of the people they arrest for metal theft are repeat offenders, but he said if Texas and other states do not start imposing stricter laws that more people are going to begin resorting to the crime.
Though electric and communications facilities are a primary target for thieves in Fort Worth as they are everywhere else, Hawkins said that churches, due to the size of their air conditioning units, have also become hot spots for theft.
Another way the FWPD tries to combat the problem is to pass out educational pamphlets, which outline the epidemic and offers tips to businesses on how to protect themselves from theft, such as keeping vegetation cut down and installing cages around their air conditioners.
As long as the demand for copper and other metals remains high throughout the world, experts agree that that the problem of theft isn't going away anytime soon.
"Well, the economy's getting worse and copper's getting more expensive. Why would it stop?" Jentoft said.
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