Copper theft has become a $1 billion problem in north America. It's more profitable than robbing banks. As a matter of fact, the FBI now regards copper theft as a national threat in the U.S. As copper is nears record setting prices it has also caused a rise in the theft of it along with other metals like platinum and aluminum. Copper is averaging about $4 pound. The price in 2009 was about $1.25 a pound. From copper wiring to air conditioner coils to tailgates, metal thieves are taking anything and everything they can sell to scrap yards. In Southwest Missouri thieves are targeting something you might not expect, tailgates off pickup trucks. It's a crime a crime that takes less than 15 seconds, and car dealers are left with damaged goods. Copper wiring is being stripped out of overhead power lines, catalytic converters are being stolen from cars. Many times homes with for sale signs in the yards are a hot spot for thieves. They assume the home is vacant and take every piece of valuable metal they can get their hands on, even if it means tearing down the walls to get to copper pipes and wiring. The thieves are making quick money by selling the items to scrap yards, but law enforcement agencies fear scrap yards are turning a blind eye to obvious stolen property._________________________________________________________ Join the conversation!