View Full Version : Copper thefts

01-23-2008, 03:23 PM

San Jose, Santa Clara police make dozens of copper theft arrests

By Mark Gomez
Mercury News
Article Launched: 01/23/2008 08:34:41 AM PST

San Jose and Santa Clara police served more than 140 arrest warrants Tuesday, the result of a yearlong, undercover operation that investigated a rash of copper thefts in the South Bay.

The San Jose and Santa Clara police departments will hold a news conference this morning to discuss details about the investigation. Tuesday, more than 150 officers from both agencies served over 140 arrest warrants, and seized several items of evidence, including weapons.

In September, Pacific Gas & Electric officials estimated that thieves would make off with $1 million worth of the company's copper wire in California during the year. At that time, thieves had reportedly stolen $876,481 in central and Northern California from PG&E yards, trucks and even by taking wire from power poles, according to a PG&E spokesman.

Please check back for more details on this story.

01-23-2008, 03:55 PM
well its a problem on this side of the country too

01-23-2008, 05:39 PM
insane. Glad im out in the country and got dogs to protect my wire stash. I am sitting on a few hundred pounds of scrap still

01-23-2008, 07:59 PM
Aren't you going to take it to a recyling facility? Or are you waiting for the copper prices to go up more before taking it in. I did pretty good with my last stash I turned in.

01-24-2008, 01:42 AM
will prolly wait til i buy one of tommys gadgets to strip it all. I had a car audio guy buy the last bunch but I dunno what to do with this bunch.

Whats copper up to now ?

01-24-2008, 09:09 AM
Man, I don't know what it is running now, but it isn't cheap. My last small box I turned in was probably 40 lbs of unstripped. I walked out of their with almost 40 bucks.

01-24-2008, 09:27 AM
My technician got about $500 in December for turning in our copper and backflow preventers that we repaired or replaced this year.

Lots of copper thefts here as well. People getting arrested and even dying by stealing copper wires between street lights. Idiots.

AI Inc
01-24-2008, 09:51 AM
My last trip in was just a milkcrate , $60

01-24-2008, 09:57 AM
looks like i need to make a trip then. Got a 55 gallon drum full of scrap... was thinking about stripping it first

AI Inc
01-24-2008, 10:08 AM
Buddy of mines a heating contractor. His last drop was after a tear out on public housing, $8k

01-24-2008, 10:37 AM
People getting arrested and even dying by stealing copper wires between street lights. Idiots.

Good, that's the way it should be. Maybe one day the gene pool will be purged of these menaces to society (unless two guys come up with a way to have a baby in prison) and the country will be a better place.

01-24-2008, 12:25 PM
Turned out they got a lot more than copper in this sting operation:

Police dubbed it 'Operation Meltdown." And before the big sweep last night it had already led to 68 arrests.

In fact, of the 273 people who came in through the door at Jose Clara, only two customers were legitimate, police said.

A partial list of what was seized during the year:

• 14 tons of copper worth a street value of about $96,000

• 35 drug buys including Methamphetamine, marijuana, ecstasy and Vicodin

• 74 firearms including 21 assault rifles - banned in California - two fully automatic weapons, two sawed-off shotguns and eight firearms with scratched-off serial numbers.

• 40 stolen vehicles including a BMW, and a new Ford Edge SUV.

• The haul also included stolen California driver's licenses, construction tools, bikes, checks, laptop, jewelry, office equipment and clothing.

Perhaps most chilling was the purchase of seven bombs, some designed to be set off by cell phone calls.

More details here: http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_8055427?source=most_viewed

01-24-2008, 11:44 PM
14 tons of copper worth a street value of about $96,000

Love to know how they came up with that crazy exaggerated number.

01-25-2008, 06:13 PM
Not suprised. A friend of mine is a garbage man and there's a company he picks up for that throws out lots of used wire. He strips off the insulation and cashes the stuff in for decent money.