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Copper Theft

Andy notes his personal experience with thieves. Some developers I know had several tens of thousands of dollars of copper stolen from a one of their sites. And it was in the ground. I guess it’s good money to warrant people getting that creative to steal it.

9 Responses to “Copper Theft”

  1. ParatrooperJJ Says:

    In this day and age off hour security is mandatory.

  2. Nomen Nescio Says:

    i’ve always thought, for the amount of effort metals thieves are willing to put in to get the scrap, you’d think they’d be able to find honest work somewhere.

  3. ben Says:

    Seems like this is a good opportunity to set up sting operations to catch these guys. Just put out a big pile of copper and hide in the bushes. Heck, that’d give the police a real reason to get ninja’d up, and then they could actually, you know, catch the bad guys in the act. It’s win-win.

  4. Metulj Says:

    One word: Methamphetamine.

    I cut our house water system over to PEX. I kept all of the copper I pulled out in the basement. I ran it over to the scrap yard and got $340 for it, which paid for the PEX manifold and all of the PEX pipe.

  5. SayUncle Says:

    Yeah, the pex is nice and just about everyone uses it now. But the theft was copper wiring for cable and electric of all things. Not even big pipes. Stealing little wires in bulk.

    I don’t have the pex in my personal residence because we have one of those perpetual hot water systems where the pipes in the house are kept heated so when you turn on the tap, the hot water is instant. doesn’t work with pex.

  6. JKB Says:

    It was only a month or so ago, they picked up 3 people in rural SE TN for stealing copper wire out of a hot substation. Knocked a few thousand people off the grid for a while. Talk about a sting. Grab the wrong wire and your a Roman candle. BTW, these weren’t criminal masterminds as they were in jail before the power was back on.

  7. nk Says:

    FWIW, a friend of mine who’s a goldsmith told me that material cost was not a consideration whether to use a copper or silver alloy. I guess copper is up there with silver. And didn’t you have a post, relatively recently, about the price of ammunition going up in relation to copper prices?

  8. Metulj Says:

    “I donít have the pex in my personal residence because we have one of those perpetual hot water systems where the pipes in the house are kept heated so when you turn on the tap, the hot water is instant. doesnít work with pex.”

    Those instant hots are so inefficient though, unless you are heating areas with it as well. Do you have satellite water heaters? PEX is used with instant hot if linked into such an application. I didn’t do that (100-year-old Victorian). Nice thing about PEX is that you can use it anywhere, even bury it straight in the ground. Up in Maine people will run it though insulated conduit between buildings. The shit does not break down to -40.

    As for copper being stolen, you’d be surprised at how many houses in subdivision are being stripped when then sit empty.

  9. SayUncle Says:

    ours is on a timer so it shuts off while we’re working and comes in just before we get home. and goes off again while sleep and comes on just before morning showers. No satellites though. I have two 60 gallon heaters side by side in my basement. works like a charm.

    however, as guests figure out, seems someone forgot to set up the guest bath with the instant on.