In Jacksonville, (Duval County) Florida, the crime of copper theft is increasing significantly, according to a recent article from First Coast News. Copper theft typically occurs when a person steals or breaks open air conditioning units in buildings and homes and steals the copper out of the units. That valuable copper is then resold for approximately $4 per pound.
Judging by the number of Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office police reports, there are several incidents of copper theft each week in the Jacksonville area because the crime is fairly easy to commit and the fruits of the crime are in high demand. Additionally, copper theft is currently classified as a misdemeanor in Florida which means that the maximum jail sentence if a person is convicted of the crime is 12 months.
However, in an effort to reduce the frequency of these crimes along with the often significant cost of the damage to homes and buildings that often accompany copper theft, the Florida legislature is working towards making copper theft a first degree felony which would subject people convicted of copper theft to potentially spending multiple years in prison and other penalties.