supplies an excerpt from Network World that might make you consider a lock for your pipes: "The FBI today ratcheted up the clamor to do something more substantive about the monumental growth of copper theft in the US. In a report issued today the FBI said the rising theft of the metal is threatening the critical infrastructure by targeting electrical substations, cellular towers, telephone land lines, railroads, water wells, construction sites, and vacant homes for lucrative profits. Copper thefts from these targets have increased since 2006; and they are currently disrupting the flow of electricity, telecommunications, transportation, water supply, heating, and security and emergency services, and present a risk to both public safety and national security."
(A July, 2006 post on Ethan Zuckerman's blog gives an idea of how widespread cable theft has affected internet infrastructure, and basketmaking
, in Africa.)