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Re: Another copper theft. [Re: gfretwell] #179194 06/30/08 10:17 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 358
mbhydro Offline
I was talking to a friend of mine on the local police force and their new regional station under construction was hit for wire a few days ago. The GC is now posting security until the building is complete and turned over to the city.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Another copper theft. [Re: Jim M] #180100 08/13/08 09:53 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Like "Star Wars," this saga continues .....

The first part is bad news ... Reno got hit last weekend by a thief who systematically stripped the wire from several athletic fields and parking loots.

The second part isn't so much 'good news,' as a tragedy.
Last spring, a young man stole an ATM machine. Following the trail left as he dragged the machine away with his truck, police entered a garage. Not only did they find the thief; they found several huge rolls of wire, each marked as coming from a different contractor. They also arrested a young man who was ONE MONTH away from completing the local apprenticeship program.
Now Junior is out from his very brief prison stay - am I the only one who thinks this is a scandal in itself - and Junior had the gall to approach the local trade association, and ask to complete / graduate from the program. He actually noted that he had NOT been accused of taking anything from his employer! Still, he had his hours in, so he can obtain a city Journeyman card.
Card in hand, he is now approaching local EC's, claiming to have completed the program. He has so far not found any takers. Reno is a small town.

(I wonder what he was doing last weekend?)

Junior seems completely unable to recognize that he did anything wrong - or that folks just might hold his actions against him. Just the sort that, I'm sure, everyone wants on their jobsite. At any rate, he seems completely unable to accept that, well, he's going to have to limit himself to unloading trucks for a while. Or digging ditches. There are just too many folks wanting a chance, folks who haven't spoiled their first chance.

It's also quite possible that Junior will try to open shop as a trunk-slammer (unlicensed contractor). Will he carry his ethics over into contracting? Probably.

An idle thought: As regular readers know, I just received my contractors license. It will be interesting to track Junior's success, and mine, over the next few years. Does the unlicensed guy really have an advantage, not having all those overhead expenses? Time will tell.

Re: Another copper theft. [Re: renosteinke] #180104 08/13/08 01:39 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,531
gfretwell Offline
Skills being equal, the unlicensed guy will make a lot more money than the licensed guy every time. All it takes is a little word of mouth advertising and the fact that the unlicensed guy usually works for cash. Not only does he skip all of that pesky business overhead, he usually doesn't pay taxes.

If you really want to bust these guys, I would start with the IRS. They seem a lot more interested in the little guy than the state contractors board.

Greg Fretwell
Re: Another copper theft. [Re: gfretwell] #180116 08/13/08 09:18 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,211
HotLine1 Offline

Congratulations on the contractors license. (First I read that, sorry if it's late)

I have an article from the NJ DCA regarding the 'handyman-unlicensed' hacks. I'll scan it first chance and try to get it to you & Greg.

Greg's solution (IRS) sounds tempting. You have state tax guys in Nev.? They can be a major annoyance for guys like that too.

Re: Another copper theft. [Re: HotLine1] #180126 08/14/08 02:00 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 202
32VAC Offline
Campaign launched to stop copper theft
August 14, 2008 02:44pm
Article from: AAP

GOVERNMENTS and electricity providers have launched a national campaign to catch copper thieves, following millions of dollars of losses.

The surging demand for copper in China and India has pushed the price of scrap copper to $8000 per tonne in Australia, leading to widespread theft, particularly from electricity, telecommunications and rail networks in NSW, Victoria, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.

Federal Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus said the problem was also being experienced overseas, in countries such as the United Kingdom and South Africa, because world copper prices had more than doubled since 2004.

"We're asking for the public's help because, as well as the cost to business, it's the public who are affected by disruptions to services when people steal copper in this manner," Mr Debus said.

In May this year, thieves stole 4.2 kilometres of power lines after cutting down 16 power poles in the Blue Mountains of NSW.

Mr Debus said customs officers were working with Victorian police on an investigation that had uncovered 30 tonnes of stolen copper, valued at $3 million, bound for Asia's black market.

The new campaign, supported by state governments as well as the Commonwealth, will feature national television advertising, signage and stickers.

Mr Debus said the money trail of copper thieves could be followed without making it a legal requirement for copper trading to use credit transactions.

"There are arrangements through the organisation Austrac to follow money trails once you know what the money is being used for," he said.

"I don't think we need legislation. We just need authorities to pay attention and in particular we need the public to help the police identify theft at the time when it's actually taking place.",23599,24180305-29277,00.html

Re: Another copper theft. [Re: 32VAC] #180127 08/14/08 04:01 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 625
SolarPowered Offline
Something appears to be wrong with their math. 30 tonnes * $8000/tonne = $240,000, not $3 million.

Re: Another copper theft. [Re: SolarPowered] #180458 08/26/08 08:42 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,211
HotLine1 Offline
Two recent theft issues that are kept out of the paper.

Vacant whse bldg, realtor goes to show bldg; no lights. Realtor calls owner, owner calls EC. EC finds 'no-power' & traces back to main switchgear. (Everything appears to be untouched) OPened up gear, found service conductors GONE. Went to pad mount xfr (2500KVA) found secondary side lock cut and set-up to appear untouched.

2500 amp, 277/480 service GONE, and the theif supposedly did it hot, Estimated replacement cost <$85000.00

Ex employee of closed plant still has key for access. Opens OH door, drives his PU truck inside & closes door. Ties rope to pieces of conduit & xfr, ties other end to truck. DRives forward, feeder shorts, arcs & sparks & FA activated. Genius panics, realizes door don't open without power. Drives to & thru another OH door & OFF THE Loading dock. Dualie is hurt real bad; genius decides to walk home. PD picked him up; POCO killed service & removed their xfr,; leaving 8 sets of 500's sticking up at the pad. (Probably be gone tommorrow)

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