03/20/2019 17:21 EDT

Mexicans Are Stealing Border Wall Materials, Using Them For Home Security

Who's paying for what, now?

Cars lined up to cross into the United States from Tijuana, Mexico, are seen through barriers topped with concertina wire at the San Ysidro port of entry. Thieves have been taking the wire and selling it in Tijuana for home security.

Whatever adjectives you might use to describe a border wall ― “big” or perhaps even “beautiful” ― “readily stolen” is not likely one of them.

Unnamed Mexican officials told San Diego’s KUSI-TV that 15 to 20 people have been arrested for stealing concertina wire from the U.S.-Mexico border and selling it to security-minded homeowners in Tijuana.

U.S. troops installed the fencing in November 2018 at the urging of President Donald Trump, who was concerned about a “caravan” of migrants.

“We have detected that the barbed wire that was installed in the border area is no longer there,” Marco Antonio Sotomayor Amezcua, the secretary of public safety in Tijuana, confirmed to the San Diego Union-Tribune. “We know about the stealing of the concertina [wire] from United States authorities who have asked us for help through the liaison staff.”

Though Mexican authorities told the Union-Tribune that those arrested were mostly Mexican citizens, one Tijuana resident who had the wire installed said the man who sold it to her sure didn’t seem Mexican.

The woman, identified as “Veronica,” told the newspaper El Sol de Tijuana that the man had blue eyes, blonde hair, and didn’t speak Spanish well.

The residents paid 40 pesos to have the razor-sharp fencing material installed outside their homes, reported Tijuana’s XEWT-12 TV. That’s equivalent to $2.10.