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Crime Follows the Speculators...

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April 01, 2008 – Comments (5)

So, when housing speculation made the get-rich quick promise, it became lousy with crime.

Now that houses are bust and speculation in the financial world has moved to commodities like copper, guess what one of the victims is? Yup, the houses that were formerly getting the hot money.

Real estate brokers and local authorities say once-proud homes coast-to-coast are being stripped for copper, aluminum, and brass by thieves. Much of it ends up with scrap metal traders who say nearly all copper gets shipped overseas, much of it to China and India.

In areas hit hardest by foreclosures, such as the Slavic Village neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio, copper and other metals used in plumbing, heating systems and telephone lines are now more valuable than some homes.

Note to Reuters Editors: You should be flogging your writer about now for that gratuitous and laughable "once-proud homes" line. Homes are never proud. They're buildings, and in this country, they're no more than piles of sticks covered with thin planks of plaster.

5 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On April 01, 2008 at 11:16 AM, abitare (43.87) wrote:

Cleveland, Ohio, copper and other metals used in plumbing, heating systems and telephone lines are now more valuable than some homes.

The money quote.... condos in my building are down 30% in a year. Rent is falling also. I am waiting to "buy" one when they reach the price of "free".

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#2) On April 01, 2008 at 11:49 AM, HOTANGELJENNI (36.11) wrote:

I PERSONALLY HAVE HAD AN INCIDENT OF THEFT.  I HAD AN OLD SINK OUTSIDEWE WERE GOING TO SET UP FOR THE GARDEN AND I LEFT THE HOUSE FOR A QUICK ERRAND APPROX 30 MINUTES ELAPSED AND WHEN I CAME HOME THE SINK WAS GONE.  UNBELIEVABLE!!!  PEOPLE ARE VERY DESPERATE.

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#3) On April 01, 2008 at 11:50 AM, devoish (99.10) wrote:

A while back dwot posted a piece about metals that said approximately 600 lbs of copper are used in a typical house. Lets say the thieves can get 1/2 of it in 2 hours with two guys ripping apart a house. At $3.50/lb they are splitting $1000.00. That is way better than minimum wage. Not as much as a law degree is worth, but better than minimum wage. Besides, moms house might need new kitchen cabinets, and that barely used $500.00 low flow Toto toilet will warm Grandma's tushy.

Of course this is temp work only, until the nat resources get mined out. At which point the miners will have to move on to higher risk properties. Of course the higher risk properties come with a greater reward opportunity.

Enjoy your vacation.

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#4) On April 01, 2008 at 8:46 PM, dwot (97.00) wrote:

Didn't I say 400 lbs?

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#5) On April 02, 2008 at 8:21 AM, TMFBent (99.83) wrote:

Another great argument for PVC, CPVC and that newer stuff. Wiring's another matter, since I don't know that we have a nice plastic alternative to copper.

Long the security companies? Saw-blade and sledge-hammer makers?

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