Authorities arrested 18 suspects in connection with a $10 million organized theft ring that allegedly stole raw copper from an Asarco LLC mine in Hayden, Ariz. Several workers were charged with helping steal semitruck loads of copper mined at the site and selling it to metal recyclers throughout the U.S. as well as on the Chinese black market.

In another copper theft trend, Westar of Kansas says customers will pay for replacements. Westar Energy officials determined 31 of their Kansas substations have been hit in April by thieves who caused damage related to copper thefts. The company will replace the stolen copper with materials that have no scrap value and increased costs will eventually be passed on to customers.