Fargo, N. D. – Copper wire and contractor’s tools

Location: Fargo, N. Dak.
Recovery date: none
Value of stolen items: More than $30,000

Record-high copper prices appear to be the motive for the theft of an estimated $30,000 worth of wiring from an elementary school building site in Fargo N. D., according to the Associated Press.

Tom Swift, owner of Rickard Electric and one of the project’s contractors, told AP that as many as 15 1,000-pound spools of wire, each measuring close to 3 feet across, were taken from the kitchen area of the school. Thieves apparently rolled them out of the building and used a forklift at the site to load them onto a truck. They also stole construction tools.

Copper has been selling at near-record levels for months, increasing by 55.1 percent from Oct. 2004 to Oct. 2005, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.