There are a lot of foreclosed and abandoned houses in my neighborhood and around the country- unfortunately.
And people have been scrounging around for metals of value too, sometimes going so far as to break into construction sites and empty homes to cut out the copper pipes.
Sometimes the results are explosive.
The abandoned house that sits where I pick up the bus had this sign in the window:
I am not sure who hung it- the thieves who took the pipes or the bank that probably has ownership of the property. Maybe the people who lost the house took the pipes when they left?