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That's Not A Bug, That's A Feature!

Today's Boston Globe has a story about a rise in a certain type of crime in Maine. With the increase in recycling, more and more thieves are targeting copper -- including copper wiring in power stations.

This has officials concerned, as stealing copper from power companies can be very dangerous.

My first thought was "big deal." Simple Darwinism in action. Dumb thieves get themselves rendered extra-crispy? Cry me a river.

But then I thought about it some more. Dumb dead thieves are a burden. They involve a lot of paperwork, and SOMEONE has to get stuck cleaning up the mess.

So I think getting the word out is a good idea. Copper conducts electricity real well, and that's why utilities use it. That means that the stuff you're trying to steal very well might be live.

And wouldn't that be a revolting development.


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Comments (15)

Around here there has been ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Around here there has been a lot of reports of people stealing LP gas lines, especially from vaction homes but also from regular residences, but so far I haven't heard of anyone trying to steal live copper wire. That would be funny.

It reminds me of some of the stories I've heard about meth "manufacturers" killing themselves while trying to steal anhydrous ammonia. Some of them were hilarious, potential "Darwin Award" nominees.

It's not a bug, it's a <a h... (Below threshold)

It's not a bug, it's a feature.

Instead of getting gassed o... (Below threshold)

Instead of getting gassed or electrocuted thieves might want to change their tactics, if they can get away with it. Stainless steel beer kegs are also being ripped off for salvage.

Now you have to pick on Mai... (Below threshold)

Now you have to pick on Maine? I thought there was plenty of nonsense going on in NH and MA.

As a Central Maine Power customer, I would like to see all of the copper wire charged up nicely. Perimeter fences too. No warning signs.

EVIL, I know. Pure evil.

That sort of thing has been... (Below threshold)

That sort of thing has been going on here for a year or so. Quite a few "recyclers" getting lit up. Also, this summer there was a rash of A/C units getting stolen...and some got lit up doing that too.

Several months ago, the Cit... (Below threshold)

Several months ago, the City of Tucson AZ had the copper wires from about a blocks worth of street lights stolen. Cost the city several hundred thousand to repair. Nobody in the neighborhood noticed anything suspicious until the lights didn't come on.

Somewhere, Darwin roars:</p... (Below threshold)

Somewhere, Darwin roars:

Police reports in Oregon ti... (Below threshold)

Police reports in Oregon tie most of the valuable metals thefts to meth addicts. Even some bridge parts such as aluminum rails have been stolen by these drugs addicts.

Drug addicts do disgusting things to support their habits. A Korean grocery man has been left paralyzed from the neck down after a cigarette addict who jumped out of late model Corvette, shot him in the neck over a carton of cigarettes he stole from a small grocery store blocks from my home. A man bought alcohol at the Safeway store three blocks from my home, then murdered his wife in a drunken rage last month.

Drugs of all types, meth, heroin, cigarettes and alcohol all inspire crimes. Drugs inspire crime all fill our nation's jails and prisons.

It's been going on down her... (Below threshold)

It's been going on down here for years, ever since the price of copper started rising.

Utilities used to leave those huge spools of copper wire sitting outside. They weigh a ton or more, and no one suspected someone would steal them. They misunderestimated the determination of our thieving class.

We've had a couple of cases of zapped thieves at the substations, too - and angry "activists" claiming the utilities weren't doing "enough" to keep the poor innocent youth out (the 8-foot chain link fencing with razor wire at the top being deemed inviting, I suppose) of harm's way.

It also happens on construction sites in high-end subdivisions (the sort where they might be using all-copper piping and wiring). In several cases, thieves have hit the same house repeatedly once the missing fixtures are replaced.

We had one bust just the other day - a father-son team near Charleston, who ran a salvage yard by day. Every night, they took their truck out through the newer subdivisions looking for stuff to "salvage." There's a bit of Americana for you, passing down the skills from father to son . . .

I wonder what political par... (Below threshold)

I wonder what political party they belong to?
just curious.

I guess you can take a spoo... (Below threshold)

I guess you can take a spool of wire with the power company logo on it down to any old recycling center and get cold cash.

They bust bartenders for serving minors. Why can't they just bust those guys for accepting stolen goods?

More and more often, they a... (Below threshold)

More and more often, they are, Roy. Some states have passed laws requiring record keeping for metal salvage.

Don't worry about the perps... (Below threshold)

Don't worry about the perps being picked up if they get fried. After 14 years in Fire/Rescue, six years in the back of a rescue ambulance, we will take on the job, gladly. No sight can beat some we have already been involved in. Every day is Halloween in the rescue/recovery business.

I wonder what poli... (Below threshold)
I wonder what political party they belong to?

They don't belong to a political party, but they vote democrat. Whether they know it or not. Especially after they are dead.

If some greedy theif tries ... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

If some greedy theif tries to steal live copper wire and get fried too bad if those stupid liberal activists dont like it then why dont they take a hike






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