@wander – You’re absolutely right! We have had a huge surge in the break in of homes that are being renovated or built. The copper wiring and pipes are being stripped, even if they have to go through new sheetrock to reach it!
I know that there was an old high school friend of mine who was building a new home. It was broken into three times, and all of the wiring stripped and all of the copper pipes were cut out each time.
Others, who live just down the street from my parents, were renovating a burnt out home, and it was broken into and stripped so many times that they finally took a huge loss and sold the property to braver people!
It seems that most of the culprits here are addicted to drugs and alcohol. Copper scrap prices are good so selling it is an easy way to get some fast cash, and it is not really traceable.