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(Twin Cities.com)   Copper wire becoming common theft item, high school science students and Doc Brown wanted for questioning   (twincities.com) divider line 69
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6452 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Dec 2005 at 12:58 PM (8 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2005-12-04 10:36:12 AM
This is an indication that your country is in dire straits. When people begin stealing the infrastructure. That shows how f*cked up you currently are.
 
2005-12-04 11:18:30 AM
This isn't anything new. I remember people ripping off the local phone and elec companies for wire as a kid. We used to just scrounge the lots where they parked their trucks for scraps that we'd gather and sell to the local salvage yard for candy money.
 
2005-12-04 11:44:00 AM
And the theives in that article would vomit if they saw the amount of copper scrap wire I threw out everyday at work.
 
2005-12-04 12:17:08 PM
nothing new thats a bum's primary income
 
2005-12-04 01:04:02 PM
Copper wire?

im sure some Farker can explain this...
 
2005-12-04 01:04:54 PM
He points to the increase in gasoline drive-offs, which prompted the state Legislature this year to toughen the penalty for people who drive away without paying for fuel.

I don't recall ever seeing a pump that would dispense fuel without a credit card or activation by the clerk inside after payment. Do they really have these out in the sticks?
 
2005-12-04 01:06:10 PM
pugsleythegreat:
copper is worth a lot and can be sold easily to scrap yards. Its easy to steal and hard to trace. So bums and people down on their luck steal it and sell it for cash.
 
2005-12-04 01:06:54 PM
Was funny in "The Wire", when the drug addicts stole some copper pipe, sold it to a site manager who they thought ripped them off even on the discounted price, then two days or so after the sale, stole the copper pipes back.
 
2005-12-04 01:07:44 PM
Oftentimes the salvage rights to buildings are worth a lot due to this very fact.

Copper aint cheap.

http://www.recycle.net/Metal-N/Copper/
 
2005-12-04 01:08:38 PM
Did Doc Brown really use copper wire that much? Or is this just an attempt to be funny?
 
2005-12-04 01:09:33 PM
hmm thanks FARK! now I know!

/the more you know ---*
 
2005-12-04 01:10:42 PM
Read the Frnak Zappa autobiography sometime for copper wire...
 
2005-12-04 01:12:50 PM
pugsleythegreat

hmm thanks FARK! now I know!

and knowing is half the battle. GI Joooooeeee!

/showing my age?
 
2005-12-04 01:17:26 PM
mutt:

I don't recall ever seeing a pump that would dispense fuel without a credit card or activation by the clerk inside after payment. Do they really have these out in the sticks?


There are pumps here that don't require payment first, and I'm in Orlando, Florida. Not exactly "the sticks."
 
2005-12-04 01:18:34 PM
boring....
 
2005-12-04 01:18:56 PM
mutt

I don't recall ever seeing a pump that would dispense fuel without a credit card or activation by the clerk inside after payment. Do they really have these out in the sticks?

I've only been to one gas station that required pre-payment on all their pumps, and they only did it because of all the drive-offs after gas got to $3. Yes, Rice kind of is kind of in the middle of nowhere, but I wouldn't really call Minneapolis "the sticks."
 
2005-12-04 01:19:03 PM
mutt: "Pump first, then pay" was common in northern Delaware when I lived there, late 90s. Of course, gas was cheaper then, and pay-at-the-pump card readers weren't that common yet. The arrangement is rather convenient as it avoids the whole, "pay, pump, go back inside to get change" silliness.
 
2005-12-04 01:19:15 PM
The electrician firm I worked for one summer would save ALL the trimmings and short pieces of wire at a job and keep it in a huge pile. After the job they would sell it back to a recycler. Apparently it would be worth several thousand dollars, even with the vinyl jacket still on it. I can see why people would want steal this stuff.

Haven't you heard of people being electrocuted trying to steal metal power lines?
 
2005-12-04 01:20:37 PM
Things are getting bad out there. 130 30-foot-tall street lights stolen in Baltimore, in other places aluminum siding is being ripped right off homes, copper from air condtioning units is being stolen, and wiring even ripped out of homes.
 
2005-12-04 01:25:27 PM
 
2005-12-04 01:26:34 PM
somebdy post the cover of Pink Flag

/i saw you in a mag, kissing a man
//12XU!
 
2005-12-04 01:26:54 PM
Incidentally, I'm the designated hometown Farker for this thread. Grew up in Rice, know Mr. Wojtanowicz, didn't even need to look to see how to spell Wojtanowicz.

/threadjack
//woh-TAWN-oh-witz
 
2005-12-04 01:27:38 PM
evilkalla: Haven't you heard of people being electrocuted trying to steal metal power lines?

Good times.
 
2005-12-04 01:34:54 PM
Every now and then some dunce tries to steal the wires on a local commuter RR and gets nailed with 11kv. metro-North had a big rash of this in the 80's for some reason.

I've heard of construction sites where they'll come back after a weekend to find copper wiring just ripped right out. It's actually a pretty big problem in some places....
 
2005-12-04 01:40:24 PM
Tacoma's going to have to find 2400 more miles of wire for their bridge. 30% of the wire is ruined due to improper storage causing the zinc surface to corrode.
 
2005-12-04 01:56:17 PM
Gratuity

Who would try to steal live power line- oh, it's Fife.
 
2005-12-04 02:03:47 PM
Replacing boiler systems and water lines at work, I throw any copper pipe and/or valves in my truck. $1.47 a pound right now. Far as I'm concerned, a buck's a buck.

/looooves money....
 
2005-12-04 02:07:51 PM
I work in the commercial electrical distribution business (wholesaling to contractors),and we have been watching the price of copper soar and soar. In the last 8 months, it has gone up over 50% ($1.32 to $2.08).
 
2005-12-04 02:20:37 PM
I thought this was common knowledge, especially considering that it's already been posted on Fark before.
 
2005-12-04 02:25:54 PM
Daddy wants his old news back yes? A LOT of people have already reported on theft of copper wire as the thieves resell it back to metal scrapyards for some substantial $$$.

My dad worked for Puget Sound Energy and now works for Potelco (as well as me working for an IT company), I've been very aware of copper wire thefts and whatnot for quite a while now.
 
2005-12-04 02:33:23 PM
Who would try to steal live power line- oh, it's Fife.

From the article:

Fife police say two men came out in the dead of night armed with a rope. They thought they would just toss the line over the wire and pull it down.

Don't bring a rope to an electrical fight. Unless you're in Fife and then whatever you do is pointless anyway as you're going to be on Seattle TV eventually for doing something stupid.

If it weren't for the south sound the KING / KOMO / Q13 nightly news would be half as long
 
2005-12-04 02:39:13 PM
YOU CAN MAKE MONEY FROM BURNING THE PLASTIC FROM THE COPER WIRE AND SELLING IT TO RECYCLERS.
 
2005-12-04 02:44:50 PM
From the article: Thefts of copper wire aren't new, but the increasing frequency of such reports reflects the economics of the times, sheriffs' officials say.

FARK.com: (1758058) Obscure economic indicator #9: the price of copper
 
2005-12-04 02:45:35 PM
A neighbor had his newly installed copper gutters stolen from his house.

It's a funny world...
 
2005-12-04 03:07:18 PM
Old news. I've heard stories long ago of people being electricuted trying to steal copper that was still a live wire.
 
2005-12-04 03:10:38 PM
In Milwaukee a closed up mall and a bowling alley had rooftop HVAC units ripped off this summer. They stole 34 units off the mall and 16 off the bowling alley. These things are big and heavy- several tons apiece. I've heard it was probably for the copper in the condensors.
 
2005-12-04 03:21:59 PM
Jeebus, copper's $2.00/pound? No wonder people steal it.
 
2005-12-04 03:23:02 PM
I work in the commercial electrical distribution business (wholesaling to contractors),and we have been watching the price of copper soar and soar. In the last 8 months, it has gone up over 50% ($1.32 to $2.08).

And yet the big copper companies are posting record profits...
 
2005-12-04 03:32:29 PM
Things are getting bad out there. 130 30-foot-tall street lights stolen in Baltimore, in other places aluminum siding is being ripped right off homes, copper from air condtioning units is being stolen, and wiring even ripped out of homes.

Here in Oregon, people are stealing aluminum guardrails from bridges. And dumbass recyclers are taking it. One guy paid out several thousand dollars for guardrails, and didnt even question it. If you are a legit business, wouldnt your first question be "where'd you get it?"

The "rash" of thefts of copper and aluminum in this area are being laid at the feet of our meth problem. And rightly so Im sure...
 
2005-12-04 03:35:24 PM
And yet the big copper companies are posting record profits...

And we all know profits are a terrible thing...
 
2005-12-04 03:38:19 PM
I once heard of a couple of thieves who stole the copper water pipe out of a house under construction...course, the water was already -on-, but that wasn't their problem.

I'm told if you want to prevent pipe theft, slather it with paint. Wire theft, hmmm...install in quick and leave the breakers on :)
 
2005-12-04 03:42:08 PM
Here's the price chart of just one little obscure copper mining company (CUP):



YEESH. Now I see why the infrastucture is in trouble. Can you imagine what's gonna happen to the phone wires that stretch into very remote areas, such as eastern Oregon or parts of Nevada? Scary.
 
2005-12-04 03:49:40 PM

From the article: Thieves cut the wire into smaller segments, sometimes burning off the outer coating before trying to sell it as scrap.

I take it that the "outer coating" is an insulator made of PVC.

...combustion of PVC create dioxins and furans, as well as huge amounts of toxic acid gas--HCl or hydrochloric acid...
Source: http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/letstalk/jan_2004/feedback.asp
 
2005-12-04 04:03:11 PM
Wait until they start pushing aluminum wiring for homes again, or that god awful plastic supply pipe that gets brittle and breaks randomly over the years...
 
2005-12-04 04:16:54 PM
Charming_Man

I think Chairs Missing would be more appropriate (but only if they were metal chairs).
 
2005-12-04 04:27:59 PM
I take it one step further. I steal the wire, mint it into pennies and avoid the middleman! My facilty will pay for itself by 2058.
 
2005-12-04 04:55:50 PM
I'm an electrician. Our suppliers are scrambling to keep up, due to the extra demand (Katrina). Cable that used to cost a buck a foot, I'm paying almost 2. And I can't even get it when I want.

BTW, the copper commodity prices have been the highest ever this year anyway, this just made it worse. Or better, if you're scrapping.
 
2005-12-04 05:16:46 PM
Diamond Joe, you should save that stuff. Where I work, we save all scrap steel and aluminum and turn it in once a month or so to a recycling yard. Usually get enough money to fund lunch once a week. We've been eating *good* lately.


/guess who gets to do the runs
//ever see a Sentra with 600 pounds of "stuff" in it?
///still don't want a truck
 
2005-12-04 05:20:17 PM
Oh yeah, and wire/pipe theft is nothing new. Usually hear about it happening in homes for sale or unused buildings, though.

Hmm. Remember the episode of The Simpsons where Bart has his own comic book/cartoon show (forget which)? When the bubble burst, his manager started ripping the wiring out of the walls before they got kicked out of the building...
 
2005-12-04 05:30:01 PM
Some dirtbags in my neighborhood recently stole the copper gutter pipes off the side of my building....Now I'm out a few grand. I hope they come back again, so I can introduce them to my newly purchased Louisville Slugger.
 
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