If by 'usually' you mean 1 in every 10,000 times, then I'd agree with you.Usually,copper thefts are self punishing crimes because the thief usually gets fried when cutting the copper lines. This guy just got lucky.
Stealing copper wires, air conditioners and catalytic convertors has been out of control for many years now. My employer had two air conditioners stolen last summer, and 8 or 9 catalytic convertors stolen from trucks over the last six years.
Scrap yards are the new pawn shops.