Monday, October 11, 2010

Cable stolen for its copper

Remember that I wrote about this happening here in Argentina after the 2001 crisis? Phone and power cables, manhole covers and bronze door knobs, even park statues being stolen for its metal? How this turned out to cause other problems like phone lines going down often, specially in bad neighborhoods? Or people falling into manholes during storm flods because the covers had been stolen?
Well this is happening in USA already and coming to a town near you.


Copper thieves target radio host's home again
October 5, 2010
SALEM — For the second time in less than a year, thieves have stripped the copper gutters off of a local radio personality's historic home.
And while Neil Chayet's "Looking at the Law" radio commentaries typically end on an upbeat note, Chayet is anything but as he once again goes about having his home repaired.
"It's very disappointing, almost unbelievable," Chayet said.
Two men, Steven Kenney, 24, and Joshua Boschard, 25, both of 3 Gates St., Beverly, are due in Salem District Court this morning to answer to charges that they were stealing the copper off Chayet's Winter Street home late Friday night.
Chayet called 911 after hearing some noises outside and then seeing three men taking down the costly metal downspouts.
He was careful not to do anything to alert them, which could be the reason that two of the men were caught so quickly, Kenney after a chase by police across Salem Common; Boschard on Webb Street, where he tried to convince a passerby to tell police that he had been with him.
Kenney allegedly told police that he needed $900 to pay court fees in a case, as well as his rent and a car payment.
According to court records, both Kenney and Boschard have lengthy criminal records, which include prior drug and larceny charges, and were not only on probation for earlier offenses but have other pending charges against them.
Both were able to come up with the $500 cash bail set over the weekend by a court clerk magistrate at the police station.
The skyrocketing prices for metal has led to a spike in thefts of items ranging from gutters to electrical cables filled with copper wires to manhole covers.
"It's amazing, to me, to go through this again," Chayet said.
Last March, Chayet and his wife, Martha, were in court for the sentencing of two other young men who had been caught stealing copper off of the home.
The couple had lovingly — and at significant expense — restored the 1811 structure, which was once the home of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story.
The Chayets took an interest in the two suspects, and eventually got to meet with John Roberts, 22, of Wakefield and Ian Burke, 23, of Lynn.
They had hoped to impress on the young men the value of preserving history. The men agreed to perform community service and pay restitution, in exchange for having the charges dismissed in 18 months.
Chayet was already feeling a bit burned even before Friday's theft. "I've been somewhat disappointed in how that's turned out," he admitted yesterday. He hasn't seen a dime of restitution, he said.
Now he wonders whether he made a mistake in not insisting that Roberts and Burke be made an example of with a harsher penalty.
About the only upside is the "outstanding" work of the Salem police who caught Kenney and Boschard, Chayet said.
"We have to find some way to break this culture of crime and violence," he said.


Anonymous said...

That's nothing. Around here, the druggies will climb telephone poles to steal the copper wire off the POWER LINES! A few have been fried, but quite a few know how to pull it off. And empty houses? Forget it. They'll strip every bit of copper out of them overnight. Ditto new houses. A lot of the developers have to post armed security at new housing developments to keep the houses from being stripped clean before they're sold.

Anonymous said...

People have been stealing copper in the United States for a few years now. But you gotta love it when the bad buys break into a police training session (by mistake, I would presume) to do the stealing:
burglars break into police training session

tjbbpgobIII said...

If we could still just shoot those kind of people the world would be a lot better off. No one has any civility anymore. you don't find that too much where I live as someone could be shot and dropped in an old well. Just joking, maybe. A man I used to work with had all the copper wiring cut at the power box and stripped from his new home.

Anonymous said...

Stealing metal is very common in the UK, it goes back to at least the 18th century for lead roofs for instance.
In one instance scrap thieves stole a £3million Henry Moore statue and sold it for £1500 scrap.

Anonymous said...

Some thief broke into a vacant rental of mine and stole all the copper plumbing...bastardos!

Now I use Pex only.


Anonymous said...

This WAS very common in California. Over a year ago they cracked down on scrap yards that buy stolen metal. Now recycling is a pain...ID, photos of you, your vehicle, the metal your selling. There are also state laws prohibiting the scrap yards from buying copper pipe and wire over very very small quantities.

This approach really seems to be helping.

Loyalist said...

I've been reading a lot about these kinds of thefts lately in the U.S. Dept of Homeland Security Daily Open Source Infrastructure Reports

Anonymous said...

Currency debasement by central banks, such as the U.S. Federal Reserve, empowered to manipulate the supply of "money" in the form of interest-bearing debt and now intent upon inflating away the debts and unfunded obligations that their host governments have racked up and cannot ever hope to defray is the root cause of the disproportionate price inflation of commodities, particularly metals whether base or precious. The actual culprits, who will likely escape scrutiny, let alone retribution, wear pinstripe suits and meet behind closed boardroom doors.


Anna said...

This is also very common where I live. Also, people steal catalytic converters off cars, for the platinum. They steal them out of public parking areas.

That is why I started parking in the city-owned parking lot behind the jail - safest place in town, amigos! all those brown uniforms and 360 degree cameras everywhere.

I drive my tractor in pearls... said...

When we built our house, I went around and picked up every single little bit of copper and put it in a box...EVERYTHING...

I know I looked like an idiot, but I just parked the heavy boxes (many) in the barn and will cash in if needed... The price I could get more than makes up for the time I spent getting it.

Anonymous said...

This happens even in Norway:

Anonymous said...

One of the thieves in this story comes from my own town. Is it better to live in the town the thieves commute from, or the town they are travelling to to commit crimes? I thought I moved to a nice town. But then the other day I went to the town hall for the first time and they had a wall covered with photos of sex offenders who live in town. Now this.

Anonymous said...

I say if it isn't being guarded, don't be surprised someone steals it. These hippies are comical.

ghpacific said...

Downtown Dallas job over the weekend. They were trying to pull a hot 13,200 volt copper wire out of a conduit. Note the bolt cutter and the copper wire on the ground.

7 attachments — Download all attachments View all images
image007.jpg image007.jpg
102K View Download
image001.jpg image001.jpg
110K View Download
image002.jpg image002.jpg
127K View Download
image003.jpg image003.jpg
123K View Download
image004.jpg image004.jpg
115K View Download
image005.jpg image005.jpg
102K View Download
image006.jpg image006.jpg
135K V