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Wed Feb 6, 2013, 05:19 AM

Desperate People Ripping Off Copper in One of Our Poorest Cities

http://www.alternet.org/poverty/america-desperate-people-stealing-copper-our-recession-ravaged-country



FRESNO, Calif.óThe thieves strike in the middle of the night and work fast, in pairs or teams. They can make an entire neighborhood go dark in minutes. They screw open the street light maintenance boxes, find the copper wires and cut. Zip, zip.

While police nab copper thieves in the act, they canít be everywhere. Come nighttime, some streets are as black as caves. Even if thieves stopped today, utility crews would need up to a year to fix all the damage. Meanwhile, darkened neighborhoods entice crooks bent on robbing houses, stealing cars or worse.

Lately, thieves have taken and created bigger risks, stealing copper from the lights, signs and metering signals on freeways that rim the city. Caltrans, the state agency in charge of the roads, has had to divert workers from fixing potholes, guardrails and fencing to repair damaged lights before some horrible accident happens. They too, cannot keep up with the copper thieves, who are striking several times a week.

As if Fresno, one of the poorest cities in the country, didnít have enough problems, what with high unemployment and rampant gangs, crime and methamphetamine abuse. Now, the city of 509,000 in the heart of Californiaís Central Valley farm country is the epicenter of a plague of copper wire theft afflicting recession-ravaged cities across the country.

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Reply Desperate People Ripping Off Copper in One of Our Poorest Cities (Original post)
xchrom Feb 2013 OP
2on2u Feb 2013 #1
galileoreloaded Feb 2013 #2
2on2u Feb 2013 #3
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #4
RILib Feb 2013 #5
justiceischeap Feb 2013 #6
Mr Dixon Feb 2013 #7
xchrom Feb 2013 #8
justiceischeap Feb 2013 #9
JBoy Feb 2013 #10

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:25 AM

1. All the more reason why we should have two suns. n/t

 

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Response to 2on2u (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 07:05 AM

2. Now that was funny.

 

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Response to galileoreloaded (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 07:54 AM

3. I'm serious, we would not need ANY lighting..... almost. n/t

 

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 07:58 AM

4. k&r

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:14 AM

5. plenty of people steal copper including in my area.

 

I see no evidence presented that the thieves are desperate poor, as opposed to, say thieves.

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Response to RILib (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:29 AM

6. I dabble in photography and one of the genre's I really enjoy is abandoned places

and people who generally do abandoned photography have a rule that you leave it as you find it (which I think is very appropriate).

Anyway, one of the bigger issues is what they call "scrappers." People who go into these abandoned buildings/homes and steal copper and shutters and other architectural salvage. Sadly, it's the people who go and photograph these places that get into the most trouble when all they really want to do is document, usually, historical buildings that are allowed to go into disrepair while the scrappers make money off their thievery.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:37 AM

7. SMH

This makes no sense, if the metal shops stop buying stolen cooper this issue would be put to bed quickly, are the cop that clueless have they not staked out the metal shops? What would be the point of stealing this stuff if you canít sell it?

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Response to Mr Dixon (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:48 AM

8. yeah that part pisses me off. bust the 'fences' nt

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Response to Mr Dixon (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:53 AM

9. That would be, generally, recycling centers.

At least in my neck of the woods, that's where you'd take it.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:00 AM

10. BC just passed an anti- metal theft law

Requires scrap dealers to get ID from all sellers and provide the info to police,and all payments over $50 must be by check, not cash.

Apparently metal thefts have dropped by 50%.

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