Minneapolis copper scavengers have found a new target: air conditioners.
In the past two weeks, six air conditioners have been stolen or stripped in north Minneapolis, according to police. Since mid-November, 11 more were hit in south Minneapolis neighborhoods.
Though the target is new -- at least in Minneapolis -- the problem isn't. Copper theft is an ongoing crime in Minneapolis, which makes sense, given how the price of copper has continued to go up.[jump]
As of February 1, copper is selling for about $3.80 per pound, according to Kitco. In 2008, it sold for just over a buck per pound.
Police are urging residents to keep their air conditioners lit from dusk until dawn, and report any would-be copper thieves lurking in the shadows.