Skip to comments.Thieves take record amount of copper in Utah heist
Posted on 04/03/2013 6:40:27 AM PDT by libstripper
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The biggest copper heist in Utah memory has stripped more than six miles of wire from a stretch of Salt Lake City highway.
(Excerpt) Read more at hosted.ap.org ...
They snuffed out almost a dozen light poles along a mile of highway between 1000 North and 1800 North, toward the outer limits of Salt Lake City. The missing coiled wire will cost between $50,000 and $60,000 to replace, officials say.
In return for this massive destruction the thieves may have received "between $5,200 and $9,000[.]" IOW, it's really hard to find amore despicable property crime than copper theft, given the massive damage the thieves do compared to the small gain they receive.
... in the median of I-15 in Salt Lake. Crazy.
Are there any laws against dealers buying back large, questionable quantities of copper, which may be clearly stolen?
Actually, stolen copper sells for ten times or more what’s its worth on the black market.
For copper thieves, its a low risk, high profit crime. Its a metal in high demand.
I really suspect the veracity of such reporting. If it really was “coiled wire”, then it was not in place and being used. Also, most if not all transmission lines use aluminum wire, not copper. Poor reporting as usual.
May I suggest then that the real problem is your not having actually READ the REPORTING to begin with?
If you go to the link and read the whole article, it details why it was copper wire, and how it was taken, and plans on eliminating this problem in the future.
Matter of fact, the article contained an excellent AMOUNT and ACCURACY of REPORTING.
Copper is a major component of many things:Ammunition is one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
“Actually, stolen copper sells for ten times or more whats its worth on the black market.”
I read your comment several times and still can’t figure out what you’re saying. I’m thinking scrap price is scrap price, stolen or legit.
Well, if the stolen copper is still usable as wire, someone may buy it (knowingly illegally), at less than market, but at more than scrap value.
That’s my attempt at decoding.
But I do not understand the scrap dealers claiming that they cannot tell ‘scrap’ from stolen. Bronze off of graves? Heads off of statues? These scrap dealers make their money by KNOWING their materials, and markets.
>details why it was copper wire
I read it. It claims that aluminum wire “shorts out easier” which makes me cringe. If anything, aluminum wire “open circuits easier” because of its ductility and softness. Al is not as good as Cu for conductivity and compatibility with connectors and splices, but there is nothing about it that makes it “short out”. The insulation on the wire is what prevents wires from shorting out, not the wire chemistry.
Like I said, poor reporting.
How long will it be before background checks are needed to sell scrap copper?
>ACCURACY of REPORTING
“They snuffed out almost a dozen light poles...The missing coiled wire...”
Could someone please educate me as to how “coiled wire” is used in light poles? Sure, they take the wire off of a spool (coiled wire) to wire them up, and actual coils of wire are in transformers, but WTF?
AP and accurate reporting don’t often meet in the same place.
Thanks for the help.
I think the original poster might be exaggerating a bit. Scrap price on basic house wiring is over half the retail price in my area. Years ago buying wire was like buying lobster, price changed almost daily.
I have to admit to a certain level of admiration to so brazen a thief as to steal 6 miles of wire. Years ago in a small town in England, a road crew came and removed 1/2 mile of copper based cobblestone road telling the locals they were repaving the road. THey had orange truck, barrels and even guys leaning on shovels.
The neighbors didn’t suspect a thing until a couple days later when the repaving crew never showed up.
Wisconsin scrap dealers that I deal with take down your drivers license info if you are selling heavy copper cable or large quantities of copper tubing. Lead or aluminum passes through, no problem. They even take Christmas tree light strings if you cut off the sockets and plugs.
Railroad steel is vulnerable too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGivL32FazM
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