The costs and implications likely will swell beyond the raw street value of the stolen copper wires.
Welcome to the global econonmy! If everything you buy is build in China by slaves paid a dime a year, and the biggest expense factor is raw material, well, they will try to reduce this expense factor. You get what you pay for.
I'm just waiting for the day China starts to secure its supply of energy and raw materials, in the same style the US do...
Copper wire theft linked to power disruptions - Doug Kesseli (176)