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Updated May 31, 2014 - 11:41 am

Southern Arizona seeing fewer copper crooks

TUCSON, Ariz. — Officials in southern Arizona say falling copper prices have resulted in the number of thefts dropping too.

The Arizona Daily Star reports (http://bit.ly/SZvzuz) Tucson and Pima County business owners say they aren’t being targeted as much.

They say more awareness and heightened security measures have contributed to the decrease.

Thieves have taken anything from copper wiring to bronze plaques to trade.

The Metropolitan Pima Alliance says the thefts can cost businesses thousands of dollars in repairs or replacement of materials.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau says more than 800 copper theft insurance claims were reported in Arizona from 2011 to 2013.

Copper currently trades at a little over $3 per pound, according to Nasdaq.

But the rate was about $4.50 in 2011.

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