Keep an eye on your copper plumbing and wiring

The Wall Street Journal reported recently that thefts of copper are on the rise.
Perce
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Save your scraps, high prices at the metal dealers

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Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

They just now finding that out??? Where they been?
Bunch took sections out of a _live_ transmission line/substatuion not far from here a couple weeks or so ago...37 kV line. Seems some former linemen or a couple w/ a penchant for moonlighting (so to speak)... :(
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On 09/08/06 09:28 am dpb wrote:

But I'm not sure that they were stealing from residences before. The latest report says that if you have an accessible crawl space, anything copper may disappear -- even while you are home.
Perce
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Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

Before when????
Since metal prices have risen, there have been folks pilfering everything that ain't tied down and a lot that is. They've been stripping houses under construction, salvage yards, electrical supply storage yards and warehouses, electric utilities, residential, whatever. Folks in larger town not too far away came home from vacation a few months ago to find the whole house gutted--wiring, plumbing, etc., just ripped out of the walls. Left all the personal belongings untouched except for a cache of collectible coins they happened to find apparently by accident. Guys just backed truck up to the garage door and walked in/out in broad daylight. Neighbors apparently thought they had hired some renovation work to be done while they were gone so weren't excessively concerned.
Certainly nothing anybody should be surprised about if they pay any attention at all to local news. It's actually more of the large, HV stuff that is actually in operation that is the newer phenomenon where the potential payback seems high enough folks are risking life over it. A simple theft charge if get caught in somebody's house or on a construction site isn't a lot of deterrent--getting "bit" by a 37 kV line is pretty much a "one strike, yer out" scenario.
IMO, $0.02, YMMV, etc., ...
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dpb wrote:

Where do these people live? Thieves are all about, but not many are industrious enough to strip copper out of a house, especially a house someone is living in. In my region, no thief would enjoy being caught (and they would likely be caught) stripping a house. I doubt that few would ever get to the judicial system,but most would wish they had.
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Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

Heh! We had some do-bads climb on the roof of a local bookstore and steal the two five-ton condensing units! Aluminum, true, and a lot of work, but marginally easier than picking up cans.
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