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AT&T Goes After Copper Wire Thieves

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the silver-still-fine dept.

Crime 338

coondoggie writes "Copper thieves targeting Atlanta are now being targeted themselves by AT&T, which is offering $3,000 for information leading to their arrest. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that in one recent three-day stretch, nearly 7,000 customers and two schools lost land line phone service. The FBI has said in the past that the rising theft of the metal is threatening critical infrastructure by targeting electrical substations, cellular towers, telephone land lines, railroads, water wells, construction sites, and vacant homes for lucrative profits."

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Final Solution (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34392046)

Just round up all the darkies and call it a day.

Re:Final Solution (-1, Flamebait)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392100)

I didn't know Hitler was alive and posting on Slashdot...I guess that explains the high number of grammar Nazi's around here.

Re:Final Solution (2, Funny)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392200)

I didn't know Hitler was alive and posting on Slashdot...I guess that explains the high number of grammar Nazi's around here.

That stray apostrophe will cost you your life.

Re:Final Solution (1)

gwayne (306174) | more than 3 years ago | (#34393058)

Zon't you mean, zat shtraay apostrophe veel cost you your live?

Copper theft (1)

Widowwolf (779548) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392094)

So what we just need to do is put more into infrastructure, remove all copper and replace with fiber optic..Voila no more copper thefts!

Re:Copper theft (1)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392154)

...Voila no more copper thefts!

...until the robots take over.

Re:Copper theft (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392166)

Yep, the head ends and such aren't so easy to sell but copper is copper. Once it's been stripped you have a hard time telling where it's come from, and there's plenty who don't care where it came from as well.

Re:Copper theft (2, Funny)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392422)

Hmm..how about some type of official licensing required to sell scrap copper and/or other metals.

I'd have to guess paying an annual fee, and having to go "on record" would deter some of the average thieves?

I'm generally against any extra govt. intervention, rules or licensing...but this actually seems like it might server an appropriate function. I mean, the do monitor pawn shops, why not have some type of system that is somewhat analogous to what they do to pawn shops to help prevent stolen goods from being fenced through them.

Re:Copper theft (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392486)

What about people like my father who collect scrap from their work (with employer approval?) He currently brings home removed cable and cut ends and throws them in a barrel.

Will he have to go get a special license just to sell the barrel of scrap copper he's been collecting?

Re:Copper theft (2, Insightful)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 3 years ago | (#34393022)

Yes. And please remind him that he should be including this income on his 1040. :)

Re:Copper theft (-1, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit163 (1939476) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392508)

so if you tear down a house, you aren't allowed to sell the scrap? so what, you're only allowed to "donate" it to a licensed "seller"? is the "seller" allowed to give "gifts" in appreciation of the "donation"?

idiots like you in gov't enacting such broken policies are why people like you are generally against any extra gov't intervention...

you're an idiot.

Re:Copper theft (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392650)

wow, dude, take it easy. i get your objections, but the guy was just making a suggestion he though might make sense. what's with the name calling, man?

Re:Copper theft (-1, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit180 (1940428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392778)

DURRRRR maybe it should be illegal to call someone names... DURRRRRR HMMMMM, how about DURRRRRRRR.

i call an idiot an idiot.

what would you have me call them?

Re:Copper theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34392784)

MichaelKristopeit is a well know troll. He also use many account. Google his name to see for yourself.

Re:Copper theft (0, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit171 (1939492) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392932)

i am michael kristopeit... a person.

you are exactly what you've claimed to be: NOTHING.

why do you cower? what are you afraid of?

you're completely pathetic.

Re:Copper theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34393062)

Lol. And he always say the same things.

Re:Copper theft (1)

sa666_666 (924613) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392810)

Check the GP posting history. In almost every reply he makes, he's calling someone an idiot. He strikes me as a very angry little man.

Re:Copper theft (0, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit180 (1940428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392906)

i'm 6'4" 220 lbs, and perfectly content in my home with my wife and children and dogs and numerous firearms.

if you feel anger, it is likely due to your own ignorance and hypocrisy.

did your mother name you sa666_666?

you're completely pathetic.

Re:Copper theft (1)

Bobakitoo (1814374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392918)

I belive it is a troll that try to pass as sommone called Michael Kristopeit. More then his comment history... he also has many accounts with that name.

Re:Copper theft (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392858)

Because cayenne8's comment is one step removed from the typical slashdot bullshit post about how free markets are shit and government should regulate everything related to business.

Re:Copper theft (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392954)

To be completely fair. There are a lot of idiots around

Re:Copper theft (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392890)

It depends on if the owners of the house actually wanted you to tear it down.

The copper thieves don't care who owns the stuff, they'll take it anyway. The only way to reduce the thefts is to make theft less desireable. Extended jail time, huge fines to resellers, etc. could make a big difference.

Re:Copper theft (0, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit163 (1939476) | more than 3 years ago | (#34393000)

it is already illegal to tear down a house you don't own.

you're an idiot. of course i'm talking about tearing down a house you have the right to tear down, and selling the materials contained in the house THAT YOU OBVIOUSLY HAVE THE RIGHT TO SELL.

that is my point.

go ahead and levy huge fines and jail time... see how quick the market responds with 10 fold price increases.

again, you're an idiot.

Re:Copper theft (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392572)

Hmm..how about some type of official licensing required to sell scrap copper and/or other metals.

It'll probably be at least as effective as gun licensing has been at reducing gun violence.

Re:Copper theft (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392710)

All you do is what they do at the pawn shop, take your ID information. Anyone worried about copper theft should be having the insulation custom-printed. Sorry, but there it is. Of course, once it's been burned off, you're not going to know jack without some very expensive metallurgical work.

Re:Copper theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34393040)

actually places that accept bulk metal like this do not accept any wires that have been burnt off to remove the shielding. it is bad for the environment and they have to report you to the EPA or some agency like that... my memory is foggy atm....

Re:Copper theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34392834)

Something something free market something.

Funny how glibertarians are free market absolutists right up until they're inconvenienced by something.

Re:Copper theft (2, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392852)

My state already requires the scrap yard to take a photo id when they buy scrap.

So no need to create a big new government apparatus to oversee such sales, just increase the fines on yards that make mistakes (which helps deter them from making "mistakes").

Re:Copper theft (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392186)

So what we just need to do is put more into infrastructure, remove all copper and replace with fiber optic.

What about electrical transmission, smart guy?

It's not like people haven't tried to steal that copper wire from power lines. I'm pretty sire fiber optic won't help there.

Re:Copper theft (2)

Ultra64 (318705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392228)

I think the problem of people trying to steal powerline cables is one that takes care of itself fairly quickly.

Re:Copper theft (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392386)

Yep, and if they're really lucky tehy may even win an award [darwinawards.com] for it!

Re:Copper theft (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392408)

You'd think so wouldn't you? Back about 2 years ago, some idiots tried stealing copper elec. lines, and blew out a 220k kv transformer about 2 blocks from my house. No smoking shoes. That left a city of ~30,000 people without power for nearly a day and a half.

Re:Copper theft (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392694)

You'd think so wouldn't you? Back about 2 years ago, some idiots tried stealing copper elec. lines, and blew out a 220k kv transformer about 2 blocks from my house. No smoking shoes. That left a city of ~30,000 people without power for nearly a day and a half.

It took them a day and a half to replace a transformer serving 15,000 customers? That doesn't say much good about the power company. Unless the police delayed them for most of that time "investigating".

Re:Copper theft (2, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392438)

You'd think so - wouldn't you?

Much like the problem of people killing each other should eventually result in less people willing to fight left - yes somehow that problem seems to persist throughout the ages.

Theivery is another problem thats lasted the test of time - and even the most strict punishment awarded (death) hasn't been shown to deter this kind of activity.

It just goes to show how illogical we as human beings are - and why "obvious solutions" never quite work as well as you'd think they would.

Re:Copper theft (2, Interesting)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392666)

Death is not the most strict punishment ever awarded for theft, and it seemed to work pretty well. Vlad Tepes Dracula was a hero to his people for being tough on crime.

Re:Copper theft (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392436)

So what we just need to do is put more into infrastructure, remove all copper and replace with fiber optic.

What about electrical transmission, smart guy?

It's not like people haven't tried to steal that copper wire from power lines. I'm pretty sire fiber optic won't help there.

Copper is rarely used anywhere but between house and pole. The rest of the overhead wiring is typically aluminum, sometimes steel-reinforced. Aluminum has far less recycling value than copper and the risk:reward ratio doesn't pan out.

Re:Copper theft (1)

Widowwolf (779548) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392614)

Actually AT&T just replaced several miles of telephone wires from the poles and those were copper with Steel Reinforced shroud around it. I know because I had to hand deliver a payroll check to the guy doing the splicing of the wires

Re:Copper theft (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392680)

Yes, but those are phone wires, not power distribution wires. (The difference lies in both the voltage and the current.) All telcos not already done are in the process of replacing as much copper as possible with fiber, starting with the biggest markets and working their way down. A fiber cut is a PITA to repair but it's many times easier than splicing a fat bundle of pairs of copper.

Re:Copper theft (1)

Widowwolf (779548) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392476)

Ok read the title of this article."AT&T Goes After Copper Wire Thieves ".Its about AT&T..not about electrical transmission. I am talking about PHONE LINES, because guess what, that's what the article is about Smart guy!

Re:Copper theft (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392980)

Ok read the title of this article

I did, and I didn't comment on the title of the article, I commented on what you wrote ...

So what we just need to do is put more into infrastructure, remove all copper and replace with fiber optic

You just simply said all infrastructure.

There, I've run rings around 'ya. ;-)

Re:Copper theft (4, Informative)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392204)

Copper conducts electricity a hell of a lot better than fiber optic though. Not that that's stopped some people:
Couple electrocuted while stealing copper wire [latimes.com]
Graphic photos too [snopes.com]

Re:Copper theft (1)

TheTrueScotsman (1191887) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392452)

But fiber optic transmits information better. And information is power...

Re:Copper theft (3, Interesting)

Nate237 (10740) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392268)

At work we've had people destroy fiber thinking they were stealing copper. The aftermath is much more expensive than repairing copper.

Re:Copper theft (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392556)

If there were no copper left then they would stop. Until then, if the risk is virtually nil, even if you have to cut 10 lines to find one copper one it will still be worth it. If there was a high enough chance of getting caught, then increasing the proportion of fiber would eventually be a deterrent. So the only real solution is some method of prevention or prosecution.

How about an anti-theft system that, when it detects tampering, it disconnects the communication equipment and throws on 10,000 volts? That might work as a deterrent, at the very least it would justify a "danger high voltage" sign on communication lines. Only problem is then everything would need 10,000-volt rated insulation.

Re:Copper theft (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 3 years ago | (#34393038)

How about an anti-theft system that, when it detects tampering, it disconnects the communication equipment and throws on 10,000 volts?

I want something like that in the Rio Grande

Re:Copper theft (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392560)

Great. When you figure out how to deliver 120 Volts AC over fiber, get back to me. (I agree, the phone infrastructure should be replaced with fiber.)

My wife's family owns a house in Freetown, Sierra Leone. They've replaced the fricking buried rubber water line providing water to the house 3 times, because thieves keep digging it up and stealing it. It ain't just copper that's a problem...

Re:Copper theft (2, Funny)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392596)

So what we just need to do is put more into infrastructure, remove all copper and replace with fiber optic..Voila no more copper thefts!

That will raise fiber prices, inspiring fiber theft.

What we need is a bunch of hidden cameras watching key infrastructure at crucial points.

Harsh punishment for even attempting to remove installed wiring / conduit in attempt to steal metal.

And traps / "bait", in the form of putting some wiring in very visible places that _looks_ like easy pickings, but is heavily guarded

Re:Copper theft (1)

Widowwolf (779548) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392702)

But who will watch the watchers

Wow! (1)

drunkennewfiemidget (712572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392102)

What an electrifying story! I bet those thieves are in for a jolt when they're charged with wire theft.

Re:Wow! (4, Funny)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392132)

Couldn't resist eh?

Re:Wow! (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392368)

He couldn't help himself. The topic is conducive to such puns.

Re:Wow! (1)

IllusionalForce (1830532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392136)

Shocking, isn't it? *badum-tish!*

Re:Wow! (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392162)

They'll be met with resistance soon enough, if this current trend continues.

Re:Wow! (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392396)

They'll probably be grounded.

Re:Wow! (1)

illumastorm (172101) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392178)

News like this is certainly Ohm-nious.

Re:Wow! (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392584)

oh god, MAKE THEM STOP!

Give 'em all the lead they want (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34392114)

At high velocity.

Re:Give 'em all the lead they want (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34392174)

1 for 1 exchange in weight.

also biggest target for menards/home depot/lowes (2, Interesting)

MichaelKristopeit163 (1939476) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392206)

go down the wire isle and you're almost guaranteed to be approached by a security guard posing as a shopper.... "$15M for this store and the lanes are so small, right? what's the deal?"

i usually pick up the biggest spool i can a few times and turn it over, then leave then come back and do it a few times just to watch them dance and attempt to continue their charade.

copper is more lucrative than gold in leveraging society. it is required in abundance.

Excuse my ignorance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34392214)

Excuse my ignorance but the only time I herd of people stealing copper was when the economy was on verge of the next great depression, in 2010. Is there some link here or is my knowledge of metal costs, or criminals lacking

Re:Excuse my ignorance (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392308)

People are still stealing it like crazy. Here's [goo.gl] a link for a Google search on the phrase "copper wire stolen" in the last two weeks. I know there are repeats but 36,400 results is still a lot.

Re:Excuse my ignorance (1)

Niris (1443675) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392374)

Eh, I think copper just in general has enough worth to make it worth stealing whenever. I know people who have been stockpiling every bit of copper they can cheaply get for years now.

Re:Excuse my ignorance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34392534)

You obviously haven't been on a large construction site. When I was in college -- thirty years ago -- I had a summer job working for a painting contractor; every day you could find the electricians on their lunch break filling up their lunchboxes with copper.

Both Britain and South Africa have been have a problem with this for a few years now, and even before the housing bubble burst there were news stories about empty houses around here being stripped of their copper plumbing. There have been occasional news stories in Britain and South Africa about the nitwits who tried cutting a high voltage line with hacksaws and frying themselves.

Re:Excuse my ignorance (0, Flamebait)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392722)

Crackheads* have been doing this for decades; looting construction sites and such for "scrap". While I think it is a bad sign, it really isn't anything new, except others a joining in on the fun while facing unemployment, rising food prices, etc.

*Yes, I'm targeting a specific, generally low-income, subgroup of drug addicts, I guess that makes me a bigot; then again the Rotarians have never broken into my house and ransacked the place for anything that can be turned over to a pawnbroker or scrap dealer.

Currently inducing a headache... (5, Funny)

Duositex (620105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392222)

Looks like these guys are stopping people from...

*puts on sunglasses*
 
...conducting business.
 

Re:Currently inducing a headache... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34392404)

Yeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

dun

dun dun

(i am an absolute sucker for the CSI:miami meme)

Re:Currently inducing a headache... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34392558)

I don't get it.

Oh! AT&T sponsors orchestras that have a conductor and without AT&T's support there wouldn't be a conductor!

Ah! It's a good thing that there are really smart people like me to appreciate your jokes!

Copper wire and conductivity.....Pffft! *snicker* Nice red hearing!

Re:Currently inducing a headache... (0, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit180 (1940428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392676)

wow... funniest thing on this site in a while, (Score:1, Funny) and someone moderates it "Overrated"

slashdot = stagnated

Re:Currently inducing a headache... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392912)

slashdot = stagnated

And yet you don't just post here, you maintain several accounts so that you can continue to post your drivel when your karma gets so low one is blocked from posting. Which says a lot more about you than it does about the site...

Re:Currently inducing a headache... (1)

MichaelKristopeit177 (1940422) | more than 3 years ago | (#34393066)

and yet you respond to me, while hypocritically confirming my claims.

did your mother name you "TheRaven64"?

you beg for the praise of those entrusted with the responsibility of moderating this website internet chat room messageboard. you're completely pathetic.

if i, and those like me who remember what this site used to be, continue to do nothing, then nothing will change. that is the implication of stagnation, moron.

you're an idiot.

Re:Currently inducing a headache... (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 3 years ago | (#34393034)

It's overrated because there is a thread much funnier above.

It's not that funny, others are better.

Re:Currently inducing a headache... (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392854)

Do I hear...The Who?

Given how much I despise AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34392242)

I really can't decide who to root for in this situation, so I'll go with my default (i.e. when the Yankees play the Red Sox): I hope a singularity opens up and swallows both groups whole.

Obvious solution (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392270)

Instead of using this namby-pamby 48 volts, they should switch to 48,000 volts. That should reduce the repeat offenders by a large percentage.

Re:Obvious solution (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392346)

No, they need to find that perfect balance where the voltage is JUST high enough so cause an arc but aren't sacrificing the current required to toast them.

Copper wire in South Africa (2, Interesting)

crowne (1375197) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392282)

Here in South Africa copper wire has been a country wide problem, some areas being hit time and again 1 week after the lines have been restored.
I definitely agree that fiber is the way to go, especially once you've replaced the same line more than 6 times....

Problem is that they go after the electricity cables too, and those can't be replaced with fiber.
Occasionally they end up self fried, but it doesn't seem to be a long term deterrent.

Collapsing the US from both sides (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34392300)

So on the inside we have the Democrats supporting their self-made immigrant pollution (Democrats overwhelmingly support the misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment; that simply producing offspring on our land makes you a citizen of our country). Then on teh outside we have virtually all of the wealthy elites supporting the wholesale of our jobs and property to human rights violators (aka China).

Do you fucks have any idea what this will lead to, given a long enough time line? Enjoy your iPhones while you still can; soon enough the wetback spics and the Nazi chinks will ensure this country turns into some kind of shithole worse than India.

PS) CAPTCHA: colorful

who is dumb enough to go a electrical substations (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392324)

who is dumb enough to go a electrical substations to take cable when there is other cable that is easy to get and is safer to get.

Re:who is dumb enough to go a electrical substatio (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392542)

The people who see it rolled up on big spools...

the comcast office has lots them just setting in t (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392772)

the comcast office has lots them just setting in the back.

This is a problem not just besetting AT&T (3, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392340)

One of the reasons newer A/C condensers have signs like "NO COPPER INSIDE" is exactly because of this.

The reason for this happening? Copper is in areas that have no guards, alarms, curious onlookers. Then it is just one insulation-burning step away from a recycler and cash per pound.

The only real solution is to start forcing recyclers to have a chain of custody, similar to what pawnshops have when someone tries to sell/pawn something. No "well, I got this copper from an old remodel I just did" BS which serves now. Require a valid ID for sale with valid contact info. Some recyclers do their homework with this, but there are always others who don't.

Re:This is a problem not just besetting AT&T (2, Interesting)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392510)

That's the problem. When the scrap dealers will accept parking meters and in one case, the pendulum from a hundred-year-old clock, then the problem isn't the meth-head looking for a fix. A reputable place will require ID and call the place. Some of the places here provide coffee, a tent, and insulation strippers.

No really, parking meters. They started stealing the parking meters.

Re:This is a problem not just besetting AT&T (2, Funny)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392816)

... Some of the places here provide coffee, a tent, and insulation strippers...

You know copper recycling is profitable if they can afford to provide strippers.

Re:This is a problem not just besetting AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34392984)

You know copper recycling is profitable if they can afford to provide strippers.

They only strip off their insulation, their thinner clothing stays on.

Go for the buyers (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392350)

If they're stealing the stuff it's because someone is paying them to do so, go after those thieves.

Why not Dallas, TX? (1)

DontLickJesus (1141027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392352)

From personal experience: This is usually performed by meth heads. Give a bounty for Dallas, I can point out an entire neighborhood of them.

Re:Why not Dallas, TX? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392892)

I wonder what would happen if you rounded them up and took them out to a mine and gave them picks.

Evolution in action (1)

TheTrueScotsman (1191887) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392402)

Nobody will be interested in stealing fiber. Sounds like a win-win (except for AT&T's insurance company).

Re:Evolution in action (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#34393094)

Why do you think that? Some people will steal the most worthless crap, expecting to get rich from it. In fact there have been wars fought over crap (look at the wikipedia article on guano). Stealing fibre-optic cable, which can be used to make Christmas orniments, isn't out of the question.

Sign of the Times (1)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392414)

What a sad commentary on the state of the nation.

Re:Sign of the Times (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34392842)

Well, when the government takes 1/3 of your minimal pay... copper starts to look like a good source of untaxed income. (who's going to report that?)

Scrap dealers; police who don't have time? (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392426)

No mention is made of the role of the scrap dealers (aka fences) and a lack of police work. In Ohio, you have to provide a picture identification when you get money at a scrap yard. Oh, and if the material is stolen, the scrap yard has to give it back without any compensation (unless they get it back from their customer). But I'm seeing a trend in policing: Personal crime (armed robbery, assault, murder) is given much higher priority than property crime. Phone cables can be replaced, and a lot of people make good money doing it so it actually helps some who are not criminals. I'm just sayin'...

Re:Scrap dealers; police who don't have time? (1)

Drummergeek0 (1513771) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392708)

That reminds me of the speech Gary Oldman gave in the Fifth Element

Re:Scrap dealers; police who don't have time? (4, Interesting)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392824)

Phone cables can be replaced, and a lot of people make good money doing it so it actually helps some who are not criminals. I'm just sayin'...

This reminds me of the parable of the broken window. [wikipedia.org]

Be careful (1)

Y-Crate (540566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392466)

I don't want to see any of you heartless punks turning in Bubbles.

oh please.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34392528)

Only a 3k reward ? Seems the profit from the theft is a bit higher.

There are worse things (2, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392700)

Like stealing statues, then selling them at one thousandth of their value as scrap metal: here [newstimes.com]

Wow, a whole $3000??? (2, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392780)

I can definitely see why someone would put their life at risk by snitching on criminals, for that kind of reward. They could live like a king!

That's even more than I could get for finding that lost dog!

Welcome to Detroit (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34393042)

Seriously. Welcome to Detroit.

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