JOPLIN, MO.--- Copper theft numbers spiked with the jump in construction in the last couple of years, a trend that is now reversing. The Joplin Police Department had 82 reports of copper theft last year. That's down 54% from numbers in 2012. One factor in the change is the Copper Theft Task Force, formed a couple of years ago. It highlights on-site security, as well as targeted patrols to prevent further copper theft.
"It will always be significant because of the ease of sale, but it is not the problem that it was for us just a few months ago. As more home sites have been built, a lot of the contractors are taking additional care," said Lane Roberts, Joplin Police Chief.
A recent national report showed copper theft claims topping those of bronze, silver and even gold.
Copyright 2014 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.