Image: U.S.-Mexico border fence in Tijuana, Mexico
Guillermo Arias  /  AP file
Men peer through the U.S.-Mexico border fence in Tijuana, Mexico, earlier this year.
updated 8/27/2009 5:15:01 AM ET 2009-08-27T09:15:01

Police in the Mexican border city of Tijuana say they have arrested six men for stealing pieces of the U.S. border fence to sell as scrap metal.

Holes in the border fence once were more commonly made by migrant smugglers, but fewer people are trying to cross because of a weak U.S. economy and a crackdown on immigration.

The Tijuana police department says the suspects intended to sell the steel sheeting as scrap.

The first two men caught cutting into the fence on Monday. An alleged accomplice was detained Tuesday with 11 pieces of fencing. The U.S. Border Patrol alerted police to three more suspects.

Police said Wednesday in a statement that the men may face federal charges because the fence area is considered federal property.

More on: Mexico | border fence

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