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Copper thieves!

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by dontoe, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. dontoe

    dontoe 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Copper thieves get killed cutting into power lines
    High price sends crooks on quest for quick buck
    By Wendy Koch
    USA TODAY
    At least seven men in five states have been fatally electrocuted since July while hacking through power lines to steal wire made of copper, which has been commanding near-record prices, police say.
    “It is a growing problem with the rise in the price of metals,” says Lt. Shea Smith of the Greenville County Sheriff's Office in South Carolina. Smith says one thief died Aug. 30 and another July 7. Both were found with wire cutters and other tools that suggested their intent. He says at least 30 more copper thefts have occurred in the county so far this year.
    Nationwide, police report copper thieves stealing wires from air conditioning units, exposed pipes from underneath homes, vases from graveyards in Sumter, S.C., and bells from a church in Yonkers, N.Y.
    “It's surprising to find two deaths in such a short time frame,” Shea says. “Most people who steal copper find the easiest way to do it,” such as taking it from a construction site.
    “It's three (deaths) this year alone” in Detroit, says 2nd Deputy Chief James Tate of the city's police. On Monday, he says, the body of Walter Marihugh, 24, was discovered after he apparently tried to cut cables from a public lighting box in a vacant lot. Tate says a similar electrocution occurred two months ago and a third earlier in the year.
    Police have reported three deaths since July in Fort Worth, Pineville, W.Va., and Aurora, Colo. There are no national figures, but the number of copper thefts and related deaths is “probably at the highest level it's ever been,” says Kenneth Geremia, spokesman for the Copper Development Association, a trade group. He says copper is completely recyclable and can sell for $3 a pound at scrap yards. Demand from China, India and other countries for copper for use in housing and industry has doubled the metal's value in a year.
    Thieves don't always take precautions.
    “It's a Russian roulette kind of situation. If they cut the wrong wire, they're at risk,” says Stan Partlow, director of physical security for American Electric Power, a utility with 5 million customers in 11 states.
    He says a rise in thefts from its power lines and substations has left the public and utility workers with power outages, loose wires or exposed equipment and has caused the deaths of two thieves in Boone County, W.Va., and Pike County, Ky.
    “It's very difficult” to tell if scrap copper is stolen, because much of it is very commonly used material, says Bryan McGannon, spokesman for the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, an association of 3,000 scrap yards. He says workers are trained to look for stolen items, and his group alerts scrap dealers by e-mail of large thefts.
     
  2. GotLabs

    GotLabs 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    ........Greenville County Sheriff's Office in South Carolina........

    ..... vases from graveyards in Sumter, S.C., .....

    explains a lot.:D

    The media acts like its something new, guys been stealing it from the gov for years.
     
  3. chevyfumes

    chevyfumes Court jester

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    :whistle: Thats why you wait for them to lay phone cable or hit up the plumbing yard...
     
  4. broc944

    broc944 1/2 ton status

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    We lost our scrap cooper a couple times this summer at work. The bins are now inside, and in the way, but at least they are safe.
     
  5. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    My industry uses large copper coax cable up to antennas. There have been a lot of warnings and reports through my company of various copper thefts and techniques the crooks use.
    There have been stories of people digging up the radials under AM radio antennas (long copper lines that run underground from the tower), air conditioning units that are mounted outdoors, etc.
    Most of the engineers in my company are waiting for someone to try to cut through their 100,000 watt feed lines. That would be interesting...

    I've actually had two large pieces of extra copper coax sitting outside one of the buildings I operate for a few months now, probably about 30lbs. I'm surprised with all the vandalism we've had that they're still there... Dumb vandals I guess.
     
  6. chevyfumes

    chevyfumes Court jester

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    Yeah yer not an old skool copper snatcher til you ride off with it on horse back...:D
     
  7. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    I'm reading this and thinking "Darwinism does work."
     
  8. Inu-Hanyou1776

    Inu-Hanyou1776 1/2 ton status

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    Don't have to worry about them getting the copper out of my air conditioner. It's installed in a second story window and the crooks would have to get a tall ladder and risk a 15-20 ft. fall to the ground to get to it.
     
  9. chevyfumes

    chevyfumes Court jester

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    :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: Dang dood I shot whiskey out my nose....Caution, there are levels (or stories) to this that may lead you to believe I was laughing at you when in fact I was laughing with you....Please tell me you were at least giggling at the time...:D
     
  10. chevyfumes

    chevyfumes Court jester

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    The big money is in aluminum cans...
     
  11. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I have a well pump in the middle of a pasture field that feeds a water trauf. Someone pulled cut my power wires at the power pole and at my pump, and pulled them out through the underground conduit. That pissed me off....

    We have a historic site on a nearby mountain highway where you can stand on a look out off the road and look at an old dam that feeds our valley. All the railing was aluminum, someone stole it all one night.

    Thieves are stupid and lazy, I'm glad some of them are getting the crap shocked out of them and going 6 feet under, serves them right.

    Career thieves spend so much time trying to figure out to steal different items, including the time to steal it, that they could make twice the money with that time by just getting an honest job. That is the part that drives me nuts.
     
  12. chevyfumes

    chevyfumes Court jester

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    Smart theives don't get caught and they don't waste time and the fact that they don't have an honest job doesn't mean that they don't work just as hard,I mean it is their job. The phrase "Work smart or work hard doesn't imply legality". But as far as the serves them right remark, yep you get what you deserve. Whether you lie cheat and steal to get what you want or you work yourself into the dirt and die penniless... :crazy:
     
  13. kyser_soze

    kyser_soze 1/2 ton status

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    It's only fitting that a copper theif should die pennyless.;)
     
  14. Jishory

    Jishory 1/2 ton status

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    well my air conditioner has a mote around it, no copper thiefs gettin in there!
     
  15. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

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  16. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    happens here a lot lately..

    There has been a rash of metal theivery here too..some new houses were gutted of all the copper plumbing pipes,and catalitic converters were sawzalled off customers cars at shopping malls not far from here recently..

    The phone and electric company's wire spools are dissapearing too,despite security patrols keeping an eye on the storage facility..they even stole some manhole and sewer covers in one town,and people drove over the open hole and some cars had the front tire,rim,and strut torn right off!..

    One town near Boston had a huge brass bell from the 1800's dissapear from in front of a fire station--it was located at a scrap yard 30 miles away--the owners of the scrapyard knew it wasn't something anyone would just scrap,so they called the town who's name was cast into it,and learned it indeed was stolen..they paid 225 bucks for it..

    I know a guy who does roofing--his boss lets him scrap any copper or aluminum flashing,or aluminum siding they are replacing...I brought his stuff to the scrap place in my truck a few times,to make some gas money..most,if not all of the yards now take your licence plate #,and your adress and phone #,before they will pay you for anything now..:crazy:
     
  17. Inu-Hanyou1776

    Inu-Hanyou1776 1/2 ton status

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    I was. :D Especially at the thought of maybe being awoken at night to a crash outside my window, then hearing shouts of "Help! I've broken my back! Call an ambulance!" and going out the backdoor downstairs and finding a thief with his tools and a fallen ladder, and him telling me he was trying to pry open the back of my air conditioner and fell before I go back inside to call 911. :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha:
     
  18. boggerless

    boggerless 1 ton status Premium Member

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    they would in detroit.:haha:
     
  19. boggerless

    boggerless 1 ton status Premium Member

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    i have enough in the garage for a house payment.:o :haha: :haha:
     
  20. Col_Sanders

    Col_Sanders 3/4 ton status

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    I know where there is A LOT of easy copper......Anyone got a boat that can carry a few tons?
     

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