When a man walking among the graves at a cemetery in Elmhurst, Ill., near Chicago, suddenly jumped into his car and sped off one day this August, a worker jotted down his license number and called the police.
A few days later the police followed that car to a different cemetery and watched as the driver stole 51 bronze vases attached to grave markers in about 15 minutes. He then drove to a scrap metal yard where they learned he had already sold hundreds of the bronze vases. (The most recent price I could find for scrap bronze is about $2 per pound. The vases are said to cost about $600 to replace.)
The bad economy has led to a boom in scap metal scavenging. Where once people only took the aluminum cans from my apartment dumpster, they now take even the bottles. They no longer care about the high weight for only a few cents. Many cities report the yellow brass end plugs are being stolen from fire hydrants. In some places even man hole covers are no longer safe.
For more see Wall Street Journal
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