Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Next Biggest Thing...

We have another new craze in these parts. Copper theft. People, usually drug addicts, will steal anything made of copper.

They cut live power lines to steal the copper cable.

They cut flowing water lines to steal the copper tubing, usually causing a hell of a lot of water damage in the process.

They pry open telephone switch boxes to steal the copper wires inside.

I have taken reports from schools, constructions sites, vacant homes for sale, and even PG&E.

The truly pathetic part is that these people recycle the copper for about $3.00 a pound. Five feet of 1 inch copper tubing nets them about $10.00. Enough for a hit of whatever drug they use.

I despise addicts.

11 comments:

Joe Allen said...

Fortunately, with so much copper being attached to high voltages, there is a bit of a self correcting element to the problem.

Joe

PC Michael Pinkstone said...

We've had problems with theft of metal (scrap or otherwise) for a good number of months now. Churches have lost hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of lead; numerous miles of copper piping have been ripped from walls, along with boilers and anything else looking metallic; and there are groups of scums who go around stealing exhaust systems and catalytic converters, as well as the whole vehicle if they can manage it. Much of this is fuelled by drug dependency, but a lot of it is done by organised gangs who recruit low-lifes to do it for them. Since the price of scrap metal dipped a few years ago, it then rose back up, so now it is quite a valuable commodity - owing to demand in developing countries such as China - and such thefts will continue. Blimey, essay over. And I despise addicts too!

Evil Transport Lady said...

Aroung here they are stealing from the cemeteries! The veteran flag holders are made of copper.

How low can they go??

Mrs. "Smith" said...

Those fuckers stole pipe from Moose's school. They had to do massive repairs to the cafeteria just before school opened this year.

nanc said...

we're from californistan, living in arkansas for the past almost nine years - don't miss the cali-antics - my background was in law enforcement in the administrative end.

i can see only one good thing coming out of this economy - people are FINALLY cleaning up the scrap metal out of their yards! and sometimes yours when you're not looking!

bwah!

nanc

Me said...

Yeah, the WV State Police just shut down a local crew that was skootching up under peoples' cars and cutting the catalytic converters off. They were getting $25.00 per converter...and causing several hundred dollars' damage to each car in the process.

To the surprise of no one, they had crystal meth in their car when searched.

Officer "Smith" said...

Oh, don't even get me started on the catalytic converters. We have had HUNDREDS of those stolen.

Sean said...

We've been getting hit with both as well - the copper/scrap metal larcenies & the catalytic converters.

Sad truth is that the bad guys have figured out it's a relatively easy steal for a quick return.

Berserk said...

For whatever reason, copper theft seems to be pretty much a tweaker thing in my jurisdiction. The crackheads find other ways of feeding their habit.

Stupid tweakers. Someone should give them all some kind of poison or something, that would eventually make them go away & stop causing these problems.

fuzzys dad said...

They are stealing from the cemetaries here also. And ruined food in the coolers of a food bank by stealing the copper pipes.

The Dispatcher and Her Officer said...

OMG For years now.. they have been stealing the copper wires out of the city light posts.. whole rows of streets turn dark overnight! They steal from the railroads! Leave there car on the tracks to light up the scene to steal the copper wires!! Steal the sprinkler heads from your yard! Construction companies have to re-wire a house about 2-3 times as they come in the morning and the house is stripped!! My officer just took a report several months ago about a woman parked her car infront of the building walked inside... and subjs were hovered under her vehicle trying to take her catalytic converter!!! BOLD!!

THE FIX::: Can we pass a law that its mandatory to recycle metal.. But it's against the law to pay for it!!!!! No money - no drugs - different crime!!
-Dispatcher