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Soaring prices for scrap metal, oil and basic foodstuffs have seen crooks turning their attention to soft targets. Copper piping or wire can fetch about £2,500 a ton as scrap, lead might make £250 to £300 a ton. Platinum, part of catalytic converters in car exhausts, is worth about £30 a gram (see breakdown of prices below).
Much of the stolen metal is shipped overseas, with organised crime involved in a sophisticated distribution network.
Hot property: crooks' targets
(Commodity - source - value)
Copper - Wires or pipes - £2,500 a ton
Lead - roofs - £300 a ton
Platinum - car exhausts - £30 a gram
Heating oil - fuel tanks - £1,200 a tank