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Copper Theft Barometer

Copper prices have increased by more than 45 percent in the past two years, and all over the world copper thieves are sharpening their skills. So much so that the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry last December introduced a Copper Theft Barometer—which has revealed some shocking statistics.

In January and April 2011, for instance, thefts of copper have reached a value of 20.5 million rand ($3 million). They have since decreased somewhat, to around 15.8 million rand in July.

SSPL via Getty Images