Author Topic: Copper Theft - How to Fight?  (Read 26137 times)

devildoc

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #30 on: July 09, 2011, 08:29:58 PM »
Had a Fire Feb 10th was looking fwd to moving back in the next week we have been out that long thankfull insurance is paying for the rental townhome until sept. We were excited to go ..... finaly a normal life. I can start the preps room the way I want it already carved into my normal looking garage. Some Heartlees no good somebody went into my crawl space and took out all of my copper piping. Nobody heard shit, over 120 feet from my crawlspace of copper piping gone. I am lucky in one respect they didn't take the new Ac unit still sitting their because the Cops told us it probably their for a reason its to new with a serial number track we could find out who did this . In Virginia they have a law for metal recycle people u have to do a photo id for copper and so on because of the problem. But that does me no good becuse if I were home this would have never happened in the first place and secondly, When I get home we will have some nice things waiting on you Mr. Copper . AC unit is now bolted to the concreat my crawl space door with that flimsy plywood excuse of a door I never changed will be solid steel and locked tighly etxra stored bottled water will be in their, with a steel cage outside into concreat, about the size opening of half a large dog Kennel opening will await you on the outside with a heardend steel lock. The same for the AC unit in a nice cage outback. If that dont work you heartless kick a man thats getting his house redone because of a house fire tradgedy and keeps me from moving back into my kindom for longer than expected no mercey will be present if your caught. I'll call 911, u have 5 min before they get here.  Folks lock your stuff down its happening to foreclosed and empty forsale sign homes all over here and even people who just go to work all day nobody home. . Lock your stuff down don't be a victum of these kind.
Brian.
Whew, had to vent....................

By the way the dog  will have first dibs.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2011, 10:15:19 PM by devildoc »

Offline NWBowhunter

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #31 on: July 09, 2011, 08:38:41 PM »
You're right  this type of theft is way up. It's a common access point on most homes that is not secured. Just plywood and a twist lock.

Offline themadprepper

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #32 on: July 09, 2011, 08:46:33 PM »
People go nuts for copper in bad times. Near where I work someone kept stealing copper
from natural gas wells. Well, one morning they found him hung in a pump (you know the pumps
that look like a dinosaur head going up and down). Crushed! All for a few dollars worth of copper.

Offline JerseyVince

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #33 on: July 09, 2011, 10:02:15 PM »
We had a couple of lugnuts by me stealing manhole covers and storm drain grates for a cpl months, it finally stopped when a maintaince crew hit a open manhole in a rainstorm and got hurt. Police went after the scrap dealers and squeezed them for the guys names. Lots of Bell Tel sites get hit by me for copper and their starting to hit the cell sites hard for anything not nailed down

probably one of the reasons so many houses are being built/rebuilt with PEX, even the builders are sick of the copper thefts

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #34 on: July 09, 2011, 10:06:19 PM »
sorry this happened to you, dd. You deserve a run of good luck!

OldManSchmidt

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #35 on: July 09, 2011, 11:37:28 PM »
People go nuts for copper in bad times. Near where I work someone kept stealing copper
from natural gas wells. Well, one morning they found him hung in a pump (you know the pumps
that look like a dinosaur head going up and down). Crushed! All for a few dollars worth of copper.

Quote from Bloomberg.com as of 01:20 EST on 07/10/11.

 COPPER FUTURE (USd/lb.)   441.200   -3.000   -0.68%   07/08

This means copper is selling on the commodities exchange for $4.412 USD per pound which is down $0.03 per pound from the close on 07/08/11.  That translates into a scrapyard price of about $3.75 - $4.00 USD per pound for #1 grade copper which included copper tubing and most any copper wire that is stripped, clean, and shows no evidence of having been burned.  By contrast, insulated copper wire is probably bringing between 80 cents and $1.00 USD a pound at the scrapyard.

This translates roughly that a 5 gallon bucket full of stripped copper wire will bring roughly $200.00 USD at these prices.  A 5 gallon bucket will hold about 50 pounds of stripped copper +/- without forcing it in.

Copper thieves die all the time in their thievery.  It is a sad and senseless occurrence and the punishment is harsh, but justice is served in such cases (a little too well served in my opinion, but then again, they always had the choice not to steal in the first place.)

Offline JimQ

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #36 on: July 10, 2011, 05:42:49 AM »
About four or five years ago I was working on a construction project and heard this story from one of the electricians.  They were working on a different site and the foreman or journeyman electrician came in one morning and went to the floor on which they were roughing in the electrical feeds.  He didn't see the electrical wiring that they had started to install.  He thought maybe the apprentice had left the wiring coiled in the electrical room.  The apprentice showed up and they checked the electrical room and the wiring was gone.  Brand new wiring gone.

In 2004-2009 metals prices were going up so frequently that quotes for electrical material, hollow metal doors & frames, bathroom accessories and then finally structural steel that quotes that had once been valid for six months were reduced to sometimes as low as seven days due to the increasing prices of metals.

Around here there are some abandoned state owned properties where people have been sneaking in and stealing metal and copper.  With the increased number of unoccupied houses, I'm sure that copper thefts will be on the rise.

Jim

OldManSchmidt

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #37 on: July 10, 2011, 10:40:25 AM »
There was a time a few years ago that the electrical supply houses were giving wire quotes that were good "until you walk out the door."  I actually saw wire prices change 3 times in one day.

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #38 on: July 10, 2011, 12:41:59 PM »
. In Virginia they have a law for metal recycle people u have to do a photo id for copper and so on because of the problem.
Same here in NC, but if the scrap yard is dirty an ID doesnt do much good. We even had a rash of thefts where the thieves were taking the bronze vases that hold flowers from grave sites. Now thats low.

Offline Dawgus

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #39 on: July 10, 2011, 01:09:48 PM »
 Stealing copper pipes has been popular here for quite a while. Along with catyletic converters (there was a rash of them being stolen from fleets of company vehicles all over the county), beer kegs from behind restaurants, aluminum siding (stripped from empty homes), and copper wire. Not long ago, someone was killed while trying to steal copper wire from the main supply at an empty shopping mall. Seriously....some of these people put more time and energy into stealing materials and taking them to the scrap yard than they would with a 40 hour a week job. ::)

Offline idelphic

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #40 on: July 10, 2011, 02:28:50 PM »
Stealing copper pipes has been popular here for quite a while. Along with catyletic converters (there was a rash of them being stolen from fleets of company vehicles all over the county), beer kegs from behind restaurants, aluminum siding (stripped from empty homes), and copper wire. Not long ago, someone was killed while trying to steal copper wire from the main supply at an empty shopping mall. Seriously....some of these people put more time and energy into stealing materials and taking them to the scrap yard than they would with a 40 hour a week job. ::)
Yup Dawgus - sometimes that theft of cooper bite back..we've had several cases of 1: have the AC units lifted (total of 7 I think), and 2: Fried Thief and the sub station.

Karma is a bitch.

OldManSchmidt

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #41 on: July 10, 2011, 03:04:51 PM »
We had a scrap yard here that enjoyed a date with karma.  The yard was as dirty as they come.  I actually had them offer to sell me whole rolls of 14/2 romex still in the shrink wrap for 10% over scrap rate.  Apparently, someone decided that all of that nice, stripped, shiny scrap copper was better pickings than ripping it out of abandoned buildings.  I heard they got away with a little over 2000 pounds.  The owner was livid.  I thought it was poetic justice.

Offline JerseyVince

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #42 on: September 01, 2011, 05:54:23 PM »

Offline Oil Lady

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #43 on: September 01, 2011, 06:02:51 PM »
These bastards are also robbing the ornamentation mounted onto people's gravestones. A cemetery is easy to rob since there's no one there at night, no lights, and no cameras.

Here's an article where a war memorial (set fairly far back into the depth of a cemetery in the UK) was stripped of its plaques.

http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/law-and-order/scrap_metal_thieves_target_war_memorial_in_cemetery_1_2994585

There has been talk of making the scrap metal dealers be the one's to hold accountable under the law. If a scrap dealer sees some kid with spikes in his hair walking in with stuff that is just so obviously from a graveyard, then the scrap dealer should have to report it.


Offline 12XLR8

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #44 on: September 06, 2011, 11:15:41 PM »
This is also happening in Hawaii  thieves are targeting the street light wire on the freeway.

Offline Truik

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #45 on: September 07, 2011, 03:41:17 AM »
I heard a story about a maintenance yard at the phone company. Some one had driven a large truck into the yard and had loaded a couple of those huge rolls of telephone cable onto it and was attempting to drive out when they noticed it. They quickly drove up to the gate in their own vehicle and blocked them off and locked the gate until the police got there.

A risky move for the employees in case the thieves were armed, however, in this case, it paid off. The would-be haul paid off with jail time.

Also, I heard that some alarm companies can actually hook up your AC unit to your home alarm system. You just have to ask them and they can wire it up for you (for an additional fee, I'm sure).

Anyone know about or tried this?


Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #46 on: September 07, 2011, 05:44:34 AM »
With all of the unsecured, unoccupied buildings around here for a couple of years after Katrina, copper thieves were having a field day.  When caught, there was no mercy from the owners, cops, or (if anything was left) courts.  Despite a full court press on enforcement, all of the copper laying around kept attracting these low-lifes.

My former carpool buddy's house was hit while he was refurbishing it.  $10,000 damage done for what the cops estimated was $500 at the scrapyard.

If you're ever hit by disaster, be on the lookout.  These idiots will come next.

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #47 on: September 07, 2011, 05:58:06 AM »
We have had about 8 or 10 copper thefts from our scrap bin (Electric Utility) in the last 7 or 8 years.   After the first couple, I put in a camera with an IR spotlight for night recording.   In the next 4 months, we caught and prosecuted 3 people.  Funny thing is, the camera is in plain sight 10 feet above the dumpster.  You can't miss it.  These guys were all dumb enough to back up to the dumpster (Exposing their license numbers) and walk up to the dumpster staring almost straight into the camera.    At first I thought they were just bold and brazen, but after examining the video and watching their movements, they were just clueless.

These were all at night midnight or later except 1.  Our doors open at 8:00 AM, but Operations people arrive at 7:30.  The warehouse manager was in his office which faces the dumpster at 7:40 when a guy pulled in and started throwing copper in his trunk.  He walked out the door to confront the guy just as he jumped in his car and drove in a circle (because we only have one entrance/exit) and sped past him.  He had time to take his cell phone out and get a good up close picture of the car, the license and driver who was picked up 20 minutes later trying to sell the scrap copper at the local scrap yard. 

Offline Oil Lady

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #48 on: September 07, 2011, 07:04:15 AM »
Also, I heard that some alarm companies can actually hook up your AC unit to your home alarm system. You just have to ask them and they can wire it up for you (for an additional fee, I'm sure).

Anyone know about or tried this?

When I first read this I said "huh?" But then after I thought about it another minute it made perfect sense! The burglar will merely disregard the AC kicking in. Meanwhile, you will be awakened and alerted to someone's presence in the house. So you can get out of bed, lock your bedroom door, grab you gun, call the cops, hide in your bedroom, maybe even monitor the video feed from your house-wide security cameras via your Android, and all the while the AC is masking the sound of your movements. Too cool!


Offline madcap1one

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #49 on: September 07, 2011, 11:25:57 AM »
There is another thread on this very topic somewhere in the past TSPF archives - with some ideas (from good to bad to violent) for dealing with the issue.

I am mobile now, with slow search - but I am sure a mod can locate it and merge the two threads.

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #50 on: September 07, 2011, 12:51:10 PM »
Both copper theft threads have been merged.  (Thanks for the reminder Madcap1)

Doc

Offline Truik

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #51 on: September 07, 2011, 05:48:40 PM »
When I first read this I said "huh?" But then after I thought about it another minute it made perfect sense! The burglar will merely disregard the AC kicking in. Meanwhile, you will be awakened and alerted to someone's presence in the house. So you can get out of bed, lock your bedroom door, grab you gun, call the cops, hide in your bedroom, maybe even monitor the video feed from your house-wide security cameras via your Android, and all the while the AC is masking the sound of your movements. Too cool!

My fault. I totally misrepresented my train of thought. What I was visualizing and what I was typing were two different things.

What I meant was: Someone goes into your yard and opens the casing on your AC unit and it triggers the alarm in the house. It can be a really loud heart-in-your-throat security alarm or a silent alarm coded with its own unique identifier so you (and/or the cops) know exactly what was broken into.

I didn't mean that the alarm system would inadvertently turn on your AC unit.  ::)


Offline Oil Lady

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #52 on: September 07, 2011, 05:53:09 PM »
My fault. I totally misrepresented my train of thought. What I was visualizing and what I was typing were two different things.

What I meant was: Someone goes into your yard and opens the casing on your AC unit and it triggers the alarm in the house. It can be a really loud heart-in-your-throat security alarm or a silent alarm coded with its own unique identifier so you (and/or the cops) know exactly what was broken into.

I didn't mean that the alarm system would inadvertently turn on your AC unit.  ::)

Well, I was thinking that the AC was deliberately turned on, and so the AC was the alarm itself.

But now that you've explained yourself, it sounds like you and I just accidentally invented a new alarm system. ;D




Offline Truik

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #53 on: September 07, 2011, 07:06:44 PM »
Well, I was thinking that the AC was deliberately turned on, and so the AC was the alarm itself.

But now that you've explained yourself, it sounds like you and I just accidentally invented a new alarm system. ;D

Ned: "Does it feel cooler than usual in here to you?"

Edith: "Quick, get the shotgun!"

 :rofl:


Thox Spuddy

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #54 on: September 07, 2011, 07:11:56 PM »
I took about $5 worth of aluminum to the scrap yard and I had to let them scan my drivers' license which they keep a record of with the receipt and material description.

Offline Entity

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #55 on: October 19, 2011, 01:05:08 AM »
Truik : Yeah that's a simple tamper zone code, most panels "newer" than the four-by-two's can do this without trouble

devildoc

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #56 on: January 09, 2012, 09:32:52 PM »
Went to the City weld company where I am last yr. after I had a house fire someone was nice enough to come steal my copper to replace it was 5 thousand for PVC. I had a bar metal cage made with long forks for the ground and cemented it in for rthe AC unit did the same for the Crawl space entry. Its locked with a VERY HEAVY Lock and I also put a lock on the outside power switch to keep it energized if they want it bad enough they will have fun getting it.

Offline GeorgiaBoy

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #57 on: February 26, 2012, 03:52:02 AM »
Back before I moved from Georgia to Missouri we had a thief go into the Georgia Power supply yard where I lived and used the power company's own lift/crane to load 2 huge spools of copper wire spool outside was about 7 ft diameter each and then was stupid enough to take both spools to the scrap yard 2 days later and tried to sell it to them 'STILL ON THE SAME SPOOLS' with GA Power Company spray painted all over the spools.

Cops had a HUGE laugh as they took the idiots to jail....

Offline TexasGirl

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Re: Copper Theft - How to Fight?
« Reply #58 on: February 26, 2012, 09:20:40 AM »
Quote
Come on guys - give me some effective and hilarious ways to cause this guy to poop his little boy drawers!!!

Simple.  Get a big mean backyard dog. 

Unless they are not legal in Chicago either.

~TG