About $6,000 worth of copper was taken from three homes under construction near Aubrey earlier this week.
The Denton County Sheriff's Office said deputies responded to a call Tuesday about stolen copper parts in the 800 block of Lighthouse Lane at the Savannah development off U.S. 377.
Sheriff Will Travis said copper thefts from development sites are common because they're often unguarded and easy to access.
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It's made even harder because copper coiling is found in so many places, from air conditioners to phone wires.
"It's just like you're dealing drugs," Travis said. "It's a quick fix way to make money."
But copper thieves rarely make much money, he said. On average, copper scrap sells for less than $4 per pound and, in most cases, thieves are only stealing ounces of copper.
The damage thieves do is much worse, and the danger they create is an even bigger issue, Travis said.
A man tried to burn down a utility police on Sunday to get to the copper on top, Travis said. The man ended up in a hospital and, eventually, jail.
Travis said the wires fell on the man, shocking him. It wasn't worth that risk, Travis said.
The FBI estimates that copper theft is a $1 billion per year problem in the United States.