According to Ron Beltran of Santa Barbara Iron & Metal, the current copper market is the highest it’s been in decades (just below its peak only a few years ago), and the metal is currently going for $3 per pound. Non-coincidentally, the area has seen a rash in copper theft. Sgt. Dave Henderson stated that a number of incidents occurred in March, three of which took place in the city’s Desalination Facility: On 3/3, eight three-inch electric copper cables were stolen from the facility, estimated to be worth $500; on 3/7 would-be thieves attempted to remove wire from La Colina Junior High, causing $10,000 in damage; on 3/9, around 100 feet worth of copper wire was ripped out of the desal plant, which also saw another theft on 3/27. The total damage to the facility was estimated to be $27,000.