Just when I begin to forget about copper theft, I watch the local news and realize that copper thieves are still out there. And they just keep getting bolder. Yesterday, my local news here in San Francisco had two stories about copper thefts that wreaked quite a bit of havoc.
First, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), which
transports commuters from the city to the east and south bay neighborhoods, was
crippled when copper wiring was stolen from the tracks. These wires power the
system and have been ripped out at least three times in the last year.
According to news outlets, repairing the damage is going to cost approximately
$90,000, a cost that is going to come from
Taxpayers are also going to have to pay for the
copper theft that occurred in Vallejo, Calif., northeast of San Francisco.
Thieves stole copper wiring out of traffic signals in that city. Also,
according to theTimes-Herald, Vallejo
has seen 77 of its city lights damaged due to copper theft.
are just two examples of how copper is still a valuable commodity for thieves.
However, it is occurring everywhere. Just type in “copper theft” to a Google
news search and you will find examples all over the country. And it is not just
happening on municipal railways and street lights. Even homes, churches and
schools are targets because of their outdoor condensing
So what is the solution? Have you seen copper theft
occur in your area? And is there anything you have been able to do to stop the
theft from occurring?
Are copper thefts here to stay?
James J Siegel is the associate editor of SNIPS magazine. He has been with the magazine for eight years and is based in San Francisco.