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(AP)   How exactly do you steal 6 MILES of copper wire, and nobody notice?   (hosted.ap.org) divider line 80
    More: Strange, NCAA, copper, wires  
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8678 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Apr 2013 at 8:50 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-04 07:55:20 AM
I'm going to guess that they coiled it up in order to avoid dragging it behind them and raising the suspicion of law enforcement.
 
2013-04-04 08:06:39 AM
I thought it said 6 MILFS
 
2013-04-04 08:10:43 AM
Just count your blessings it wasnt 6 miles of fiber optic cable.

That shiat is EXTREMELY expensive
 
2013-04-04 08:12:43 AM
Answer: It was Utah.
 
2013-04-04 08:16:16 AM

cman: Just count your blessings it wasnt 6 miles of fiber optic cable.

That shiat is EXTREMELY expensive


Yeah, but it's only good for one thing.

Copper wire can be melted down for scrap, and as such, has a value beyond its intended use.
 
2013-04-04 08:16:54 AM
Around here someone stole several miles worth of railroad tracks.  You know if you just have a hardhat, orange vest, and a clipboard in your hand, you can pretty much do whatever you please, people will assume you belong there.
 
2013-04-04 08:29:29 AM

nekom: Around here someone stole several miles worth of railroad tracks.  You know if you just have a hardhat, orange vest, and a clipboard in your hand, you can pretty much do whatever you please, people will assume you belong there.


Even in a Village People tribute act.
 
2013-04-04 08:41:28 AM

nekom: You know if you just have a hardhat, orange vest, and a clipboard in your hand, you can pretty much do whatever you please, people will assume you belong there.


"Excuse me ma'am...I'm here to fix the cable."
 
2013-04-04 08:49:54 AM

UberDave: nekom: You know if you just have a hardhat, orange vest, and a clipboard in your hand, you can pretty much do whatever you please, people will assume you belong there.

"Excuse me ma'am...I'm here to fix the cable."


Don't be fatuous UberDave.
 
2013-04-04 08:52:56 AM

dittybopper: I'm going to guess that they coiled it up in order to avoid dragging it behind them and raising the suspicion of law enforcement.


Like this?

http://www.theonion.com/articles/biden-scores-800-feet-of-copper-wir e, 31013/
 
2013-04-04 08:54:42 AM
Auto start videos at 9am.. FUFUFUFUFUFUUUUUU
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-04-04 08:55:11 AM

PC LOAD LETTER: I thought it said 6 MILFS


I hope you had windex handy.
 
2013-04-04 08:55:35 AM

nekom: Around here someone stole several miles worth of railroad tracks.  You know if you just have a hardhat, orange vest, and a clipboard in your hand, you can pretty much do whatever you please, people will assume you belong there.


That didn't work last month over at Spirits'R'Us, FYI. Luckily I have no priors and got off with a PTI.
 
2013-04-04 08:55:52 AM
A mile at a time?
 
2013-04-04 08:56:00 AM

nekom: Around here someone stole several miles worth of railroad tracks.  You know if you just have a hardhat, orange vest, and a clipboard in your hand, you can pretty much do whatever you please, people will assume you belong there.


Why were you digging a hole in First Avenue?

Well, there's so many holes already in First Avenue we didn't think anyone would notice.
 
2013-04-04 08:56:06 AM
verrrrrrrry slooooooooooooooooooowly
 
2013-04-04 08:58:15 AM

nekom: Around here someone stole several miles worth of railroad tracks.  You know if you just have a hardhat, orange vest, and a clipboard in your hand, you can pretty much do whatever you please, people will assume you belong there.


I read a while ago that the steel used in railroad tracks is some of the highest-grade steel made. If they weren't so damned heavy, this would probably happen more often.

Plus, the odds of electrocuting yourself during the theft are much smaller.
 
2013-04-04 08:58:54 AM
I have about 6 miles of copper wire here, it's 40 gauge. It fits on a spool, it weighs about 2 pounds.
I use it to garotte ants.
 
2013-04-04 09:04:11 AM
Shoot, at least they made sure the wire was disconnected from the power source before stealing it. They're not always that smart here in Kansas.
 
2013-04-04 09:04:17 AM
Am I the only one who chuckled when I saw that this story came from the AP Wire?
 
2013-04-04 09:04:41 AM
The trick is to walk out with it like you own it.

www.wikinoticia.com
 
Pud [TotalFark]
2013-04-04 09:09:12 AM

nekom: Around here someone stole several miles worth of railroad tracks.  You know if you just have a hardhat, orange vest, and a clipboard in your hand, you can pretty much do whatever you please, people will assume you belong there.


There have been several thefts of steel storm drain grates from the side of the interstate around here. People see the vests, and hard hats then don't give it a second thought.
 
2013-04-04 09:09:31 AM
Quietly.
 
2013-04-04 09:11:31 AM
If the wire is sufficiently thin, 6 miles of it could conceivably be very easy to steal...
 
2013-04-04 09:14:01 AM

gopher321: Answer: It was Utah.


Cute. Good thing for your theory that nobody steals copper wire anywhere else. Or what if they tried to steal railroad tracks? Boy, THAT would be embarrassing!
 
2013-04-04 09:15:25 AM
Replace the copper with gold. Then at least the thieves will get a better return at the scrap yard, even though no one at the scrap yard will remember anything unusual.
 
2013-04-04 09:15:26 AM
I would like to think it was some hungry family, down on their luck and desperate for cash but the truth is probably the Mexican mafia. The western states have a real problem with them and the problem seems to be growing.
 
2013-04-04 09:18:41 AM
6 miles of copper wire isn't that much copper wire.  I could fit it in my car with ease.
 
2013-04-04 09:20:34 AM
Never underestimate the power of a motivated meth head.
 
2013-04-04 09:29:16 AM

Cybernetic: I read a while ago that the steel used in railroad tracks is some of the highest-grade steel made. If they weren't so damned heavy, this would probably happen more often.


Steel is a structural metal, so "high-grade" doesn't actually work that way: its quality is dependent on very minute variations in composition and on how it's worked, so if you recycle it or even anneal it then it's no better than starting from scratch or using any other scrap steel, which you can get for basically nothing at a scrap-yard.  You essentially have to re-tune the carbon content (among other things) of the metal every time it's melted, so unless you actually need the steel type in the tracks for machining it's not worth it.

Copper is mostly used as a conductor, so the sole factor in how good it is is its bulk purity, so you can melt down copper wire and use it to make a copper coffee pot and it'll work just as well, whereas a railroad tie not so much.
 
2013-04-04 09:35:44 AM

Jim_Callahan: Cybernetic: I read a while ago that the steel used in railroad tracks is some of the highest-grade steel made. If they weren't so damned heavy, this would probably happen more often.

Steel is a structural metal, so "high-grade" doesn't actually work that way: its quality is dependent on very minute variations in composition and on how it's worked, so if you recycle it or even anneal it then it's no better than starting from scratch or using any other scrap steel, which you can get for basically nothing at a scrap-yard.  You essentially have to re-tune the carbon content (among other things) of the metal every time it's melted, so unless you actually need the steel type in the tracks for machining it's not worth it.

Copper is mostly used as a conductor, so the sole factor in how good it is is its bulk purity, so you can melt down copper wire and use it to make a copper coffee pot and it'll work just as well, whereas a railroad tie not so much.


Thanks bro.  You're like, so metal. :P
 
2013-04-04 09:39:49 AM
Because god forbid we start monitoring and prosecuting scrap yards for taking this shiat.
 
2013-04-04 09:39:52 AM
You just use the wire to tie down the bales of hay before you take your wheelbarrow across the border.
 
2013-04-04 09:41:08 AM
The power company employee who identified the theft could not be reached for further comment...

www.daddyfactory.com

/link de la hot.
 
2013-04-04 09:42:10 AM
I wonder how hard it would be to create an alloy of copper that still conducts electricity with a similar impedance, but that can easily be distinguished from the copped used in home and commercial services

have the State and City switch to that, and the only way to recycle it is by being an actual employee of the state
 
2013-04-04 09:49:39 AM
Stealing miles of copper wire is easy, its done all the time here in the UK. Dig a hole to get at the wire and tie it to the end of a van. Dig another hole a mile or two down the road and cut the wire. Drive a mile or so and voila wire out of the ground.
 
2013-04-04 09:52:21 AM
Said before and will say it again:
By and large scrappers are thieves and criminals.  Not all of them but a very freaking high percentage of them.

I had a couple tons of copper cable stolen from a construction site once.  It was inside our locked yard, among all our other construction materials (75 million dollar rail rehab project), still on the spools, just delivered a few days ago.

We found it down the street at the scrap yard when dropping off a load of misc. metal from our site.  The cable was still shrink wrapped with the shipping tickets / bills of lading still taped to the side, so it was easy to prove it was ours.  Scrapyard guy had the balls to claim "he had no idea it might have been stolen."
 
2013-04-04 09:54:12 AM
Stealing that much is easy... stripping off the insulation is the hard part. "Bright" copper (i.e. hand-stripped) is worth at least twice as much as copper with the insulation still on.

When I was a kid my electrician father used to bring home a truckload of cable tailings at the end of the year, we'd have a huge bonfire and burn the insulation off in an incredibly toxic but spectacularly green conflagration. The results got sold to fund the company christmas party. But even that copper didn't sell for anything near what hand-stripped did.
 
2013-04-04 09:54:16 AM

Nonrepeating Rotating Binary: Because god forbid we start monitoring and prosecuting scrap yards for taking this shiat.


Ever been to a scrap yard? Not as easy as you seem to think.
 
2013-04-04 09:56:18 AM
Who's doing the recycling? Around here, unless you're an established customer with a scrap plant, you go through the wringer with ID to recycle things. I took a handful of hard drives over the other day and had to show ID, leave a finger print, and practically sign away my first born for $4. I can't imagine what would happen if I rolled in with a bunch of wire and a couple of A/C coils.
 
2013-04-04 09:56:21 AM
Funny, even at $4 a pound, buy something like a copper counter top, and they charge you hundreds, if not thousands, that only has a few pounds in it.
 
2013-04-04 09:57:33 AM

loonatic112358: I wonder how hard it would be to create an alloy of copper that still conducts electricity with a similar impedance, but that can easily be distinguished from the copped used in home and commercial services

have the State and City switch to that, and the only way to recycle it is by being an actual employee of the state


I like the idea but it would probably be easier to laser emboss the material with the owner's name. Your idea would prevent melting the material but it's not cost effective to bring melted scrap copper, which is a lower class of material, to the the scrap dealer.

I've come to suspect some significant amount of the copper is stolen from public use for private projects. My dad had a 100 amp service run to the detached garage and I'd be willing to bet the electrician did that with stolen or otherwise misappropriated #2 copper. Electricians are, after all, the ones who could safely snag such copper and claim all these "3 foot end cuts" as their vacation bonus.
 
2013-04-04 09:58:37 AM

Satanic_Hamster: Said before and will say it again:
By and large scrappers are thieves and criminals.  Not all of them but a very freaking high percentage of them.

I had a couple tons of copper cable stolen from a construction site once.  It was inside our locked yard, among all our other construction materials (75 million dollar rail rehab project), still on the spools, just delivered a few days ago.

We found it down the street at the scrap yard when dropping off a load of misc. metal from our site.  The cable was still shrink wrapped with the shipping tickets / bills of lading still taped to the side, so it was easy to prove it was ours.  Scrapyard guy had the balls to claim "he had no idea it might have been stolen."


Scrap yards are every bit as unscrupulous as the theives. It is a well known fact that they turn a blind eye to theft and do only the BARE minimum required by law in terms of reporting anything. The whole business from scrap yards down to the people bringing stuff in, all very shady.
 
2013-04-04 09:58:59 AM
6 miles of copper wire would be a 3-foot diameter loop of wire coiled 1,680 times. That's really not that unreasonable, wire is pretty thin.


This copper theievery bullshiat needs to stop though. Every scrapyard should be required to get ID from every seller and keep records of this shiat.
 
2013-04-04 10:02:32 AM
Datadots. Micro printed particles that look like dust, and can be applied to wires, vehicle parts, equipment, etc. by the millions for very little cost. You can coat an entire factory for a couple of hundred dollars. $6 to mark a household's worth of theft-worthy stuff. The dots are micro printed with a serial number, the owner registers the serial number. Detection of the dots is easy with $10 worth of equipment available to scrap buyers and law enforcement.

There are options available to combat this kind of thing. This kind of technology may, of course, be prohibited in Utah under state witchcraft statutes...
 
2013-04-04 10:03:15 AM
Cut it into 3 inch lengths.
 
2013-04-04 10:04:27 AM
Moosecakes:

6 miles of copper wire would be a 3-foot diameter loop of wire coiled 1,680 times. That's really not that unreasonable, wire is pretty thin.


This copper theievery bullshiat needs to stop though. Every scrapyard should be required to get ID from every seller and keep records of this shiat.


Every scrapyard I've been to in MD (and I've been to many) asks for ID. YMMV.
 
2013-04-04 10:04:43 AM

Satanic_Hamster: Said before and will say it again:
By and large scrappers are thieves and criminals.  Not all of them but a very freaking high percentage of them.

I had a couple tons of copper cable stolen from a construction site once.  It was inside our locked yard, among all our other construction materials (75 million dollar rail rehab project), still on the spools, just delivered a few days ago.

We found it down the street at the scrap yard when dropping off a load of misc. metal from our site.  The cable was still shrink wrapped with the shipping tickets / bills of lading still taped to the side, so it was easy to prove it was ours.  Scrapyard guy had the balls to claim "he had no idea it might have been stolen."


Wow, just wow, I would have reported that scrap yard to the police, sounds awful shady.  Did you end up getting the wire back?
 
2013-04-04 10:17:13 AM

BitwiseShift: Replace the copper with gold. Then at least the thieves will get a better return at the scrap yard, even though no one at the scrap yard will remember anything unusual.


there is a monster cable joke in here somewhere.
 
2013-04-04 10:24:27 AM
25.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-04-04 10:24:33 AM
AnonymooseFarker

Satanic_Hamster: Said before and will say it again:
By and large scrappers are thieves and criminals. Not all of them but a very freaking high percentage of them.

I had a couple tons of copper cable stolen from a construction site once. It was inside our locked yard, among all our other construction materials (75 million dollar rail rehab project), still on the spools, just delivered a few days ago.

We found it down the street at the scrap yard when dropping off a load of misc. metal from our site. The cable was still shrink wrapped with the shipping tickets / bills of lading still taped to the side, so it was easy to prove it was ours. Scrapyard guy had the balls to claim "he had no idea it might have been stolen."

Wow, just wow, I would have reported that scrap yard to the police, sounds awful shady. Did you end up getting the wire back?


Yeah, good luck with that. Pawn shops wouldn't be able to operate if that sort of thing was possible.

I have a not-so-cool story bro about an antique car that was stolen. The thing with old cars is that they're worth 10 times as much as parts as they are as single units, and when I found out about a chop shop being busted nearby I called the state police and said "Hey, every part I replaced on that car I wrote a date and my initials on with a Sharpie... I can identify all the parts on that car."

Their response: "Well, we can't legally go back there, they are back in business and there's no way for you to prove wrongdoing."

I was about ready to render some people for parts myself at that point.
 
2013-04-04 10:28:39 AM

Moosecakes: 6 miles of copper wire would be a 3-foot diameter loop of wire coiled 1,680 times. That's really not that unreasonable, wire is pretty thin.


Well some wire is, but if this is utility wire, meant to supply power to whole neighborhoods I imagine it isn't exactly 18 gauge speaker wire. It is just wire though, so I guess you could spool it up and.... I dunno, fit it in a pickup or van or two? How thick is the wire they use for utilities?

This copper theievery bullshiat needs to stop though. Every scrapyard should be required to get ID from every seller and keep records of this shiat.

And yeah, this is what I don't get... You can't buy friggin' Sudafed without putting yourself in a database anymore, and meth users are only literally around 0.3% of drug users or so. Copper theft affects whole communities and businesses. So why are they not doing just what you suggest? Track all the transactions, require ID, have a mandatory slight delay of day or two before the scrap is processed or transferred to downstream processors, etc.... Give the police a chance after a copper theft to check the local scrap buyers and see if they can find the stolen wire and track it back to the thieves.

I guess the scrap buyers must have a lobbyist.
 
2013-04-04 10:30:11 AM

AnonymooseFarker: Wow, just wow, I would have reported that scrap yard to the police, sounds awful shady. Did you end up getting the wire back?


New Jersey Transit job that was fully federally funded.  Didn't even deal with the city police; NJT's project engineer had state troopers and FBI there realll quick.

The state/Feds REALLY don't like it when you steal from them or their projects.
 
2013-04-04 10:35:21 AM

maxheck: Yeah, good luck with that. Pawn shops wouldn't be able to operate if that sort of thing was possible.


One of my high school buddies runs a pawn shop, and he regularly works with police to identify stolen merchandise, and report people who come in peddling obviously stolen items as well. The cops bust a lot of thieves because of pawn shops.

I'm sure not ALL pawn shops in all states, but at least here in Maryland the police and pawn shops have very good relationships from what I understand.


I have a not-so-cool story bro about an antique car that was stolen. The thing with old cars is that they're worth 10 times as much as parts as they are as single units, and when I found out about a chop shop being busted nearby I called the state police and said "Hey, every part I replaced on that car I wrote a date and my initials on with a Sharpie... I can identify all the parts on that car."

Their response: "Well, we can't legally go back there, they are back in business and there's no way for you to prove wrongdoing."

I was about ready to render some people for parts myself at that point.


Sounds like you could have went there looking for a specific part or two, brought the serial numbers with you and checked to see if they were yours. Would have been hilarious to do so and get them busted again if they were up to their old shenanigans.
 
2013-04-04 10:36:55 AM
In Montana and neighboring Idaho, police have taken measures against copper theft such as embedding GPS devices in the wire and using them to track down thieves.

No, they didn't.
 
2013-04-04 10:56:15 AM
How exactly do you go to school and not learn about proper grammar and subject-verb agreement?
 
2013-04-04 10:57:46 AM
images1.wikia.nocookie.net

Verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry carefully, but it's still stupid.
 
2013-04-04 11:11:44 AM

nekom: Around here someone stole several miles worth of railroad tracks.  You know if you just have a hardhat, orange vest, and a clipboard in your hand, you can pretty much do whatever you please, people will assume you belong there.


Yup, look like a legitimate work crew and even if people see you they won't think twice.

The scrap places, though--how about not only getting an ID but seeing the electrician's license or else the demolition permit for the building?
 
2013-04-04 11:19:10 AM
Walk backwards and say hello when you're leaving.
 
2013-04-04 11:48:34 AM
Loren:

nekom: Around here someone stole several miles worth of railroad tracks. You know if you just have a hardhat, orange vest, and a clipboard in your hand, you can pretty much do whatever you please, people will assume you belong there.

Yup, look like a legitimate work crew and even if people see you they won't think twice.

The scrap places, though--how about not only getting an ID but seeing the electrician's license or else the demolition permit for the building?


It gets complicated. I did a scrap run for my landlord who wanted a bunch of junk taken away from the property... Some of it had been sitting there for decades and was full of weird stuff like a phone kiosk, a generator and random scrap steel.

I had no idea where most of that crap came from and certainly no paper trail for *any* of it. You'd have to define what looks like a "suspicious transaction."
 
2013-04-04 11:56:28 AM
The department doesn't know exactly when the theft happened because many highway lights all over the Wasatch Valley haven't been working. Routine road maintenance in the area is falling to the wayside as workers grapple to replace the missing wire and broken metal boxes.

Wow, routine maintenance is NOW falling to the wayside?
 
2013-04-04 12:03:25 PM

Loren:
The scrap places, though--how about not only getting an ID but seeing the electrician's license or else the demolition permit for the building?


Problem is it doesn't all come from buildings, and it isn't all stolen. I used to run scrap with my neighbor, what we would do was hit up illegal dump sites. Water heaters, air conditioners, all manner of copper and aluminum containing things came along with that tin. I don't think it's a violation of any law to recover scrap that was discarded, especially given that it was discarded illegally. It's a big thing here, you put something on the curb and not a day will pass before someone with a pickup truck will stop and ask if they can have it. Yes, they ASK, they make sure it's being discarded, I've never had anyone take anything without asking even if it was obviously discarded.

So there are certainly people out there bringing copper in who aren't electricians, plumbers, etc. but have acquired the scrap legally. I wouldn't want to see those who are out to make an honest living at it get screwed by the bad apples (of which there certainly are MANY). The work is very hard, the pay is sub-minimum wage when you factor everything in. Requiring ID and photographing each load would be a much better hedge against theft.
 
2013-04-04 12:21:46 PM
nekom:

Loren:
The scrap places, though--how about not only getting an ID but seeing the electrician's license or else the demolition permit for the building?

Problem is it doesn't all come from buildings, and it isn't all stolen. I used to run scrap with my neighbor, what we would do was hit up illegal dump sites. Water heaters, air conditioners, all manner of copper and aluminum containing things came along with that tin. I don't think it's a violation of any law to recover scrap that was discarded, especially given that it was discarded illegally. It's a big thing here, you put something on the curb and not a day will pass before someone with a pickup truck will stop and ask if they can have it. Yes, they ASK, they make sure it's being discarded, I've never had anyone take anything without asking even if it was obviously discarded.

So there are certainly people out there bringing copper in who aren't electricians, plumbers, etc. but have acquired the scrap legally. I wouldn't want to see those who are out to make an honest living at it get screwed by the bad apples (of which there certainly are MANY). The work is very hard, the pay is sub-minimum wage when you factor everything in. Requiring ID and photographing each load would be a much better hedge against theft.


That brings up another aspect of scrap... Every year my electrician dad brings over a truckload of scrap copper and we basically dump it from his company truck into mine. It's easier for a telecommuter who sets his own hours (aka me) to take it to the scrapyard than it is for him.

So when I arrive at the scrapyard with $4000 worth of copper, what paperwork do I use? I'm just a dumb third party. They weigh my load, check my ID, and pay me in cash. I really don't see another way to do it.
 
2013-04-04 12:58:01 PM

maxheck:
So when I arrive at the scrapyard with $4000 worth of copper, what paperwork do I use? I'm just a dumb third party. They weigh my load, check my ID, and pay me in cash. I really don't see another way to do it.


A little discretion on the part of scrapyards would solve this, but they really don't care if things are stolen or where they came from. From what you describe, you are bringing a truckload of OBVIOUS scrap in. Short bits of wire no more than a foot or so each, since any longer and you'd have a use for it. Brand new bare copper wire in huge lengths would raise a huge red flag, but certainly not what was clearly scrap. Likewise little bits of cut and soldered pipe cuttings would be common scrap, but a load of brand new 20 foot sections of copper pipe would be suspicious.

But again, they don't care, they are an accessory to theft as part of their day to day operation, and they don't care.
 
2013-04-04 01:17:39 PM
nekom:

maxheck:
So when I arrive at the scrapyard with $4000 worth of copper, what paperwork do I use? I'm just a dumb third party. They weigh my load, check my ID, and pay me in cash. I really don't see another way to do it.

A little discretion on the part of scrapyards would solve this, but they really don't care if things are stolen or where they came from. From what you describe, you are bringing a truckload of OBVIOUS scrap in. Short bits of wire no more than a foot or so each, since any longer and you'd have a use for it. Brand new bare copper wire in huge lengths would raise a huge red flag, but certainly not what was clearly scrap. Likewise little bits of cut and soldered pipe cuttings would be common scrap, but a load of brand new 20 foot sections of copper pipe would be suspicious.

But again, they don't care, they are an accessory to theft as part of their day to day operation, and they don't care.


Well, never attribute to malice what can be explained by simple stupidity.

Yes, it's pretty obvious when someone comes in with a factory reel still covered in stretch-wrap, and yeah, it's pretty obvious in the other direction when someone comes in with a truckload of short tailings (though on a demolition, there can be some long pieces of bright copper.)

What agency are you going to fund to watch these transactions, and what are the standards you're going to set for "suspicious?" How much are you willing to pay for it?
 
2013-04-04 01:41:26 PM
nekom:

I guss my point is that scrap recycling pretty much by definition deals with random crap, like the pawnshops I mentioned upthread. Random crap brought in by random people who obtained it by random means.

Sure, it'd be great if scrapyards analyzed every load that came in. But that's impractical for a lot of reasons.
 
2013-04-04 01:53:29 PM

maxheck: nekom:

I guss my point is that scrap recycling pretty much by definition deals with random crap, like the pawnshops I mentioned upthread. Random crap brought in by random people who obtained it by random means.

Sure, it'd be great if scrapyards analyzed every load that came in. But that's impractical for a lot of reasons.


Yeah, it would be somewhat impractical to have THAT level of oversight, but you can keep an eye out for things that are OBVIOUSLY stolen, yet they simply don't care. Someone stole all of the damned manhole covers in town (the sewer line runes through a forest, easy to do without getting noticed), now how does someone legitimately end up with a bunch of discs marked "SANITARY SEWER"?

Of course, even if the scrap yard were watching, they're cast iron so they could be smashed pretty easily and mixed in with a bigger load.
 
2013-04-04 02:39:51 PM

cman: Just count your blessings it wasnt 6 miles of fiber optic cable.

That shiat is EXTREMELY expensive


Fiber optic cable is pretty much worthless at a recyclers, reducing it's value to thieves.

In addition, when you're buying it by the mile it's actually cheaper at this point than a similar number of strands of copper.  It's the terminations that are more expensive than copper, and when you're running miles of it that dwindles to 'insignificant'.

Of course, it doesn't conduct electricity, so when that's what you need to do, it doesn't work.
 
2013-04-04 02:40:17 PM
nekom

maxheck: nekom:

I guss my point is that scrap recycling pretty much by definition deals with random crap, like the pawnshops I mentioned upthread. Random crap brought in by random people who obtained it by random means.

Sure, it'd be great if scrapyards analyzed every load that came in. But that's impractical for a lot of reasons.

Yeah, it would be somewhat impractical to have THAT level of oversight, but you can keep an eye out for things that are OBVIOUSLY stolen, yet they simply don't care. Someone stole all of the damned manhole covers in town (the sewer line runes through a forest, easy to do without getting noticed), now how does someone legitimately end up with a bunch of discs marked "SANITARY SEWER"?

Of course, even if the scrap yard were watching, they're cast iron so they could be smashed pretty easily and mixed in with a bigger load.


Sooooo... You're basically arguing to keep the same honor system we already have, but expressing anger about it?

CS, B: I once came into legitimate possession of about 1/4 million $$ worth of military-grade integrated circuits that had gone out of date code. I ended up selling them to a precious metal recycler for a few hundred dollars.

How should the recycler have proceeded with such a weird transaction? Who was he supposed to call?
 
2013-04-04 03:15:02 PM
This is the near future for our cities and towns:

news.bbcimg.co.uk
 
2013-04-04 04:04:46 PM

nekom: Around here someone stole several miles worth of railroad tracks.  You know if you just have a hardhat, orange vest, and a clipboard in your hand, you can pretty much do whatever you please, people will assume you belong there.


Because who would be there in such an outfit if someone in authority didn't tell him, "You belong there."
 
2013-04-04 04:20:59 PM

nekom: Around here someone stole several miles worth of railroad tracks.  You know if you just have a hardhat, orange vest, and a clipboard in your hand, you can pretty much do whatever you please, people will assume you belong there.


It's called social invisibility, and in most cases it's just as good as actual invisibility.
 
2013-04-04 04:24:04 PM
cdn-media.hollywood.com

Receptionist: May I help you Dr...?
Fletch: Oh, it's me, Dr. Rosenpenis. I'm just here to check out Alan Stanwyk's file.
Receptionist: Dr. who?
Fletch: Dr. Rosenrosen, I'm here to get to the records room.
Receptionist: What was that name again?
Fletch: It's Dr. Rosen, I want to check the records room.
Receptionist: Dr. who?
Fletch: Dr. Rosen. Where's the records room?
 
2013-04-04 05:07:11 PM
This sort of thing will only get worse when more Americans can't find work. Your average crook is a moron that doesn't have the skill or education necessary to pull off a major sort of heist. However, a middle class American who has worked in their field for 15-20 years and knows what to say and what to do ... they'll be untouchable. Especially since they know what to say and do if approached.

Take the IT field for instance. The average crook might break in and get away with a computer, but can probably be tracked down, and still has no idea what to do with the computer. But a technician could walk in the middle of the day, talk to your security and secretary and probably walk out with a whole pallet of computer.

I used to do intrusion testing for companies and rarely failed. You'd be amazed how far a clean cut white guy wearing khaki's, a dress shirt and walking around with a clipboard will get. My personal best was getting a branch manager for a business office to let me walk up and "inspect" every computer on his floor. He even had someone get me coffee while I "worked".
 
2013-04-04 05:11:09 PM

Nonrepeating Rotating Binary: Because god forbid we start monitoring and prosecuting scrap yards for taking this shiat.


Seriously. How hard can it be to require proof of identification before accepting it? Everyone that brings in copper must have a valid phone number and identification that you can reach them on.
 
2013-04-04 05:49:08 PM

maxheck: It gets complicated. I did a scrap run for my landlord who wanted a bunch of junk taken away from the property... Some of it had been sitting there for decades and was full of weird stuff like a phone kiosk, a generator and random scrap steel.

I had no idea where most of that crap came from and certainly no paper trail for *any* of it. You'd have to define what looks like a "suspicious transaction."


I was thinking more of the copper--the stuff that's stolen so frequently.

maxheck: That brings up another aspect of scrap... Every year my electrician dad brings over a truckload of scrap copper and we basically dump it from his company truck into mine. It's easier for a telecommuter who sets his own hours (aka me) to take it to the scrapyard than it is for him.

So when I arrive at the scrapyard with $4000 worth of copper, what paperwork do I use? I'm just a dumb third party. They weigh my load, check my ID, and pay me in cash. I really don't see another way to do it.


You present your ID and say you're doing it as an agent of your father, present a copy of his electrician's license.

Also, I wouldn't disallow scrapping without an obvious legit reason, but rather subject it to greater scrutiny.  If you analyze the pattern the meth-heads will stand out.
 
2013-04-04 06:00:55 PM

Loren: You present your ID and say you're doing it as an agent of your father, present a copy of his electrician's license.

Also, I wouldn't disallow scrapping without an obvious legit reason, but rather subject it to greater scrutiny. If you analyze the pattern the meth-heads will stand out.


Yep.

Require licenses or credit cards, keep records of all transactions, switch from cash to money orders or cashiers checks...
 
2013-04-04 08:19:17 PM

Satanic_Hamster: Said before and will say it again:
By and large scrappers are thieves and criminals.  Not all of them but a very freaking high percentage of them.

I had a couple tons of copper cable stolen from a construction site once.  It was inside our locked yard, among all our other construction materials (75 million dollar rail rehab project), still on the spools, just delivered a few days ago.

We found it down the street at the scrap yard when dropping off a load of misc. metal from our site.  The cable was still shrink wrapped with the shipping tickets / bills of lading still taped to the side, so it was easy to prove it was ours.  Scrapyard guy had the balls to claim "he had no idea it might have been stolen."


So, did you threaten to "Shoot him where it don't grow back?"
 
2013-04-04 08:50:59 PM

cman: Just count your blessings it wasnt 6 miles of fiber optic cable.That shiat is EXTREMELY expensive


That has happened around my area a few times.  The idiots can't tell the difference between copper and fiber, go up the poles in the middle of the night and cut down fiber (all the time imagining all the money they're going to get), load it into their truck in the dark, then assumedly haul it to the recycler in the morning to discover that they've got a truck full of nothing much useful to them.

Then again, maybe they just like seeing how many neighborhoods they can disrupt services in.  Either way... idiots.
 
2013-04-04 08:52:33 PM

Raven Darke: So, did you threaten to "Shoot him where it don't grow back?"


No, see above.  This was a 75 mill job for New Jersey Transit, federally funded.  NJT had state troopers and FBI over there quick.  The government doesn't like it when you steal from them.
 
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