On October 2, 2008 a Romanian citizen was caught stealing copper cables in Austria. Other five accomplices managed to run but the 33 year old suspend was temporarily arrested. With 2 tons of copper cables from the highway construction site, the thieves would have won 7,000 euro. Old and new iron, sold as metallic waste for high prices is one of the century's businesses. However, it crosses the illegality border or the margins of common sense. Take for example, citizens exposed at serious dangers, in a train passing a railway whose bolts have been stolen.
In Germany the price of metallic waste, either new or old varies between 600 to 1,200 euro/ton if it is delivered straight to big companies that collect it. These companies can be contacted by phone and they takeover the containers, on their own transportation costs.
This is a legal and environmentally-friendly business but not that safe for that matter. Those acquiring metal should be forbidden to buy metal from private people, or accept suspicious products like bolts, cables and others.
Companies should request legal paperwork before accepting metal wastes, that can be checked by customs if the old metal is exported. In the European Union, however, the customs does not have a say any longer and thus the metal runs like pure silver, from the East to the West.