I just read on the Pipe Organ Forum (yes there is one) where some jackaninnies stole pipes from a church not knowing they were mostly lead and partially tin.
The person posting said the state of Ohio is very close to regulating scrap metal dealers to the point of requiring identification, and possibly thumbprints, of anyone selling scrap metal to the dealers.
There are still a lot of power distribution lines that are copper around here, easily identified by their greenish coat of corrosion. It's tempting to point them out to some of the thieves, would take care of the problem real quick.
Had my own copper thief or wannabe thief anyway. I live in a rural area, my driveway is 600 ft long down a hill. There are 2 houses on the driveway, one at the top of hill where I live and one at the bottom that I've been fixing up for rent. I have an open shed on the driveway that used to house farm equipment(it still does but we aren't farming any more) where I'd throw the occasional brass or copper scrap that I'd get. Been saving it for years. Had painters down at the lower house. They did an ok job but I thought they could have done better so they had to come back and touch up some spots. I was out of town working when they came back but my wife was home. One of the painters came up to see if what they did fixed the problem. apparently he knocked on the door but my wife didn't hear him. On the way back down to the job site he must have spied the copper scrap and started throwing it out of the shed( I didn't know this at the time). My dog heard it and started going nuts. My wife looks out the door and sees nothing, goes out on the deck where you can see the shed and hears pipe or whatever clanging. She finally yells out, "hey what are you doing", the painter comes out and says"just looking at the tractor" and then says"do you own this". My wife says "we own it all". He says"I was just checking to see if what we did was ok" My wife calls me and I say tell him his boss knows what has to be done and if he is satisfied get the heck out. I call the GC on the job and tell him to get over and find out whats going on. Thankfully he comes right over(within minutes) and tells the 2 painters to get out( he looks in the vehicle, doesn't see anything). I still have one more day out of town. I get home the next day and see the copper out in the grass and freak out. I called the sheriff, who listened to my story and I doubt was going to come over until I mentioned the painters name, before I even had his name out of my mouth he said "I'll be right over". I showed him where the copper was and where the painter had thrown it. He said there is nothing I can do as he didn't get away with it, there are no walls or anything on my shed so it wasn't breaking and entering. he said he'd talk to him but the kid will deny it. When the painters left the would be thief wasn't driving, he was a passenger so that means the other person(a girl) was in on it also. The painters boss still hasn't called me. The GC sent my wife flowers:) at least he has a clue. Actually the GC did great work, too bad his sub had to leave a sour taste in my mouth. I took all my scrap to the junkyard yesterday:) 513 bucks
we had a copper thief on a job I was on in Orlando. the guy was on a bicycle and paused at the boss' truck, peering in at the tempting semi precious metal. our dear crazy Texan (Ive never met a sane Texan) stepped out just in time to see the guy hoisting a full roll of #4 bare out of the truck. When said Texan hollered "Put that down and git!" the thief stood his ground and said "This is MINE - you STOLE it from ME!!" when he saw that Tex wasn't going to falter for that crap he dropped the copper and pedaled away - our pet Texan nearly caught him on foot. (don't know what would have come after catching him anyway)
We have similar problems increasing badly in NZ over the last year with the high Cu prices. Earth cables have been cut away from OH poles going to earth banks. Sectionalisers earths have been cut hence no protection was available on certain feeders. We have substation fences cut and earth cables removed from ABS switches and OCB's.
These people playing with their lives unless they have access to HV gloves.
Genuine scrapmerchants ask for driver license id and take note of registration plates of your car.
Bolt cutters and saba saws have been used to cut through the conduit. marks visible on the poles. One day they will cut a live 11 or 33 kV feeder cable and we will find an arm or other bodypart somewhere.
The product of rotation, excitation and flux produces electricty.
Every week there is a police report on copper theft in our area.
POLICE BLOTTER Police Briefs for 8/07/07 Home News Tribune Online 08/7/07
Two arrested in burglaries
EDISON: Two North Brunswick residents were arrested Friday and charged with burglary, police said.
While on patrol on Route 1 at about 3:25 a.m., patrolman Michael Mintch Warner saw a gray Volkswagen Passat pull into the parking lot of ADK Electric, 868 Route 1 north, which was closed, said Lt. Joseph Shannon.
The officer, whose suspicion was aroused, decided to park his patrol car a few businesses away and investigate on foot, he said.
Police arrested Derek S. Dunfee, 34, and Sebastian Gallegos, 25, inside the fenced in facility as they were attempting to steal two spools of wire, valued at $250, from the business, Shannon said.
The pair were charged with burglary.
Dunfee's bail was set at $35,000 with no 10 percent for two separate burglaries in the township. A check also revealed two outstanding contempt-of-court warrants in Manville and Hillsborough, totaling $2,500, officials said.
Gallegos' bail was set at $10,000 with no option of paying 10 percent, Shannon said. He was remanded to Middlesex County Adult Correction Center in North Brunswick and released after posting bail, officials said.