A downturn in the commodity markets has slowed the number of thefts in the Montgomery, Alabama area.
Police in Elmore and Autuaga counties say when scrap copper was selling for $3.50 a pound, they constantly responded to thefts of things like wire and plumbing stolen from rural churches and empty homes.
But Autauga County Sheriff Herbie Johnson says the pace of copper thefts has slowed dramatically in the last four months.
Last Friday afternoon recyle.net reported copper was going for $1.87 for top of the line scrap to 12 cents per pound for copper wiring in sealed electric motors.
Tommy Fleming, owner of Capital Recycling in Montgomery, estimates as much as a 70 percent decrease in the volume of things coming into the industry.
Starting June 16, a Montgomery law will force anyone selling copper to present a photo ID.
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