Denver: bronze sheep stolen for their scrap value.

Before you laugh, the two sheep were valued at fifteen grand apiece (admittedly, that’s their value as art): I have no idea how much a life-sized bronze sheep weighs*, but it was apparently enough to make it a criminal target in this marvelous economy that’s been so carefully nurtured by the current administration.  Did you know that there’s been since 2008 a statewide law enforcement program (“Stop Theft of Metal Products,” or STOMP) in Colorado dedicated to handle the specific surge of scrap-metal felonies?  Well, now you do.  And are you wondering why copper and tin are suddenly more expensive?  Well, for copper at least it’s the old story: increased demand + reduced supply (via government regulation of new mines, among other things) = more expensive copper.  And, apparently = more stolen bronze sheep.

OK, end of mini-stealth rant against the alphabet soup of agencies that make up our mining regulatory regime: I’ll end instead on a point of order.  Regarding one of the stolen sheep (the cops made an arrest after a scrap yard called in the cops after an suspicious attempt at a sale, by the way):

“I found out they have some evidence that one of the sheep was cut up,” Wilson said. “So that’s kind of a gruesome thought, but the other one we’re not sure what happened to it.”

Um.  No.  It’s a bronze sheep.  A live stolen sheep being cut up for its spare parts… well, OK, that’s only really gruesome if it’s being done at home, instead of a meat-processing plant.  And as for the aesthetic value… well.  I’ve seen pictures of the sheep.  They’re not ugly… but Rodin sculptures, they ain’t.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

Via Drudge.

*Neither does the Internet, apparently.  Odd.


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  • Canthros says:

    I don’t really see where grues enter into it, either way. Cutting up a live sheep at home sounds awkward and messy, though. It would be advisable to lay down a tarp or something first.

    Also, you seem to have some dangling asterisks, Moe.

  • Rob Crawford says:

    Welcome to the Dark Ages.

  • paul says:


    copper=commodity Commodities traded in $’s If a dollar is worth less you need more of them to buy copper

  • Kenneth Hite says:

    Taking the average cubic footage of a sheep* as 11 cu. ft., just multiply by 509 lb/cu.ft. (specific wt of bronze); it’s 5599 lb., or right around there. At a current scrap price (from what I can tell with a fast search) of $2.44/lb, we’re looking at a cool thirteen grand for a bronze sheep.

    * That figure is actually the space a sheep needs to be transported in a stock railroad car, but they seem to mush up in there pretty close, so it’s not too terribly far off. If you’d like, knock it down to a nice even 5000 lbs.

  • Kenneth Hite says:

    This, by the way, is what comes of writing GURPS books.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      A-ha! You have assumed that the cow is a sphere… wait, no, wrong one.

      Anyway, what if the sheep is hollow*? – Because that’s why I didn’t worked out the numbers (I HAVE all the GURPS books): math like that is hard. 🙂

      Moe Lane

      *And what’s there’s more in there than just… air? Those bronze statues are everywhere these days, but you never see anybody actually buy them; and their owners don’t typically talk about them, much. They just sort of… stare past you, when you ask.

  • Kenneth Hite says:

    For pity’s sake.

    If the sheep is hollow, simply assume whatever percentage you like of air, and subtract. If you’re talking, for example, about a six-inch thick shell, then that … something … mumblety … look, doesn’t your wife do hard math for a living? Make her calculate your damn sheep yields.

    This press conference is over.

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