Texarkana, Texas Police Officers arrested two men on May 30 after the men were allegedly observed removing copper from a vacant duplex.

Police say that Officer Warren Smith spotted two men standing outside of a vacant duplex in the 1900 block of Wood Street last Saturday. One of the men was reportedly holding several wires in his hands. When Officer Smith approached them, one of the men allegedly told him that they “were scrapping” but did not have permission to be on the property.

According to police, officer Smith saw numerous pieces of metal, aluminum, copper wiring, vent-a-hoods, and electric motors in the bed of the truck parked next to the duplex. He also found several tools that are commonly used for removing copper and other metal items from a building.

Officer Smith arrested Jody Attaway, 42, of Hooks, Texas, and Gene Emfinger, 45, of Texarkana, Texas, for "Theft of Material," which is classified as a state jail felony. Both men are being held at the Bi-State Jail on a $30,000 bond.

Public Information Officer for the Texarkana, Texas Police Department, Shawn Vaughn, said copper is still considered “a hot commodity" among thieves.

"Although per-pound prices are not what they were a couple years ago, copper theft remains a problem in  and around Texarkana. Criminals target vacant buildings – or occupied buildings after hours – because they believe they are less likely to be caught. Without identifying markings on the copper itself it can be difficult to trace it back to a specific theft," he said.