I think in this case, as in many others, it is cost of the damage done that really matters. OK, so the copper was only worth $4,800.00 That's a far cry from the quarter-million+ in damages caused as a result.
What is really starting to get bad is the theft of gasoline around here. No more simple siphoning; they are poking holes in peoples' gas tanks and draining them from underneath. One recent theft involved a store employee bypassing the authorization wiring in a pump and inviting his friends/families over for a free fillup. They caught him, but only after he got away with $50K in gasoline. Then, we have had at least three instances of entire tank trucks full of fuel being stolen around here.
It almost makes those siphoning thefts back in the 1970's look humorous, almost silly. Nothing is safe from theft anymore, absolutely nothing.