Copper Prices Soar: Thefts on the Rise

Dan Harris reports on how the lengths some thieves go to for the metal.
3:00 | 12/27/11

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Transcript for Copper Prices Soar: Thefts on the Rise
Now we've told you how people so many people in factor cashing in on their gold as the price surges. Now the price of copper is skyrocketing as well and crime sprees involving the metal are on the rise. ABC's Dan Harris has been tracking the very latest on that and this is sort of an interesting twist I hadn't expected to see this. You don't expect to -- it would cover this -- to interesting to me and a couple levels first old shows you how was having a copper gets expensive victim provoke a nationwide crime spree second. It gives us the opportunity to -- him incredibly stupid things that these will do to get their loot. Check out this crook snaking along a -- way at this elementary school in Miami why is he doing this because moments earlier he got hurt as you can see in this grainy video. When he fell off the roof while trying to commit his crime. Subject than a second story this elementary school presumably to steal copper that guy joins a rogues gallery of other thieves stealing copper from utility poles. Air conditioning units churches you name it all over America. Copper prices have been elevated for quite some time and I would imagine that's one of the reasons. Why it makes copper attractive to them. As the price of copper climbed to almost three and a half dollars -- pound about five times what it was worth a decade ago crooks are getting more brazen. Watch as copper thieves strike in broad daylight at a power station in Washington State. Or these ones who casually walk away with a tub full of copper from a substation in New York. And this -- just rolling away a huge spool of cable from this telephone company's storage yard. Michael -- scrap metal business in Orlando was hit so often he set up a surveillance system routed directly to his home. They watched the video a live -- and check out what he -- the crook hiding in the back from a truck. When he -- cop show up. Look at the left that -- street he hides while officers walk right by him several times. Eventually though they find his hiding spot. And bust him. Here's the thing that really burns -- while the thieves usually pocket just a few hundred dollars the cost to repair the equipment can run into the thousands maybe tens of thousands. In total in fact copper theft cost the American economy an estimated one billion dollars a year. You said even pennies certain copper pennies and -- Sally yes but later this you need it -- -- -- -- as -- -- Just do you know about slap deputies spent the -- -- car exactly.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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