After apparent copper theft attempt, exposed live wires shock man on L.A. sidewalk

A 21-year-old man was hospitalized in critical condition after he was shocked by live wires on a public sidewalk in Boyle Heights.

Firefighters responded to the area near Boyle and 6th streets shortly after midnight on Wednesday following a report of a male being shocked from exposed wires at the base of a light pole.The man, identified by family as Eddie V., was transported to Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was notified of the incident, fire officials said.

As of Friday, family members said Eddie remains hospitalized in critical condition.

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Copper thieves target light poles around little league fields

Copper thieves target baseball field

Originally published 

Stolen copper wire from the lights at the Northern Little League fields is throwing a possible curve ball in the start of their season.  Northern Little League President John Lawson says 2,500 feet of heavy gauge copper wire was stolen out of the lights last week.

Lawson noticed the copper was stolen when they were practicing last Thursday.  He suspects it was stolen last Tuesday when there was rainy weather and no one was out using the fields.  Now, the league is hoping to have the lights fixed in time for opening day Friday.

About half of the field lights on each field for the two older age groups do not work due to copper wire being stolen from them, which Lawson says limits their practice time.

“Basically makes it unsafe to practice.  You know, seeing the baseball for hitting and catching is pretty important so, we did not, we halted the practices pretty much at that point,” he explained.

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Local, state, federal and private security agencies team for Super Bowl security

Security officials are taking no chances as nearly one million people flow into the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas to see the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons clash on the field for a Super Bowl showdown this Sunday, February 6.

Local, state, federal and private security agencies are teaming up to create a security stronghold that will protect a three mile area around the stadium on the day of the big game. The Houston division of the FBI says they’ve been working on a security plan for this particular Super Bowl event for years.

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Rocky Mountain Power offers $5,000 reward for information on copper thieves targeting southern Utah substation

Rocky Mountain Power is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of thieves who stole copper at a substation in La Sal last month and caused nearly a thousand residents in the area to lose power.

On Dec. 28, the thieves took about 100 feet of copper wiring from the substation, causing a power outage for 988 people in San Juan and Grand counties for more than four hours, according to a news release from the utility company.

“People who try to steal copper from high voltage equipment put themselves and others in danger,” said Joseph Krempasky, Rocky Mountain Power substations manager, in the release. “The damage is expensive to repair, and it is extremely problematic for those who lose their power in the middle of the winter.”

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Update: Tulsa making repairs to street lights damaged by copper theft


This is an update to the post from July 2016 regarding copper theft from light poles in Tulsa, Oklahoma. You can read the original post here.

With the days growing shorter, the lack of lighting along some highways in Tulsa has become more apparent to motorists as the winter sun dips below the horizon during rush hour.

The city has been working to recover from an extensive series of thefts of copper wiring from underground light pole connections along highways. The thefts have tapered off, but repairs are costing the city millions of dollars and many stretches of road remain unlit.

Progress has been made, but the pace has been slow due to the limited manpower assigned to the problem, said Terry Ball, director of the Streets and Stormwater Department.

“When you’re working two crews and you’re looking at how many miles to get the system back up, it’s going to take some time,” Ball sad.

The city said earlier this year that about 30 miles of copper wiring had been stolen.

Ball said his department could finish the job more quickly with an increase in staffing, but that would come at great expense to taxpayers who are already paying more than $2 million to make the repairs.

Read the full story here.

The LightpoleLock is helping Kentucky in battling copper theft

Kentucky had a growing problem with copper theft. Street lights were being stripped of their copper, requiring expensive repairs and leaving unlit, less safe roads for drivers and pedestrians alike.

According to Kentucky State Police, interstate exit ramps were targeted at least 37 times in a 10-month span. Mike Duncan, inspector general for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, said wiring was stolen from four highway exit ramps in Carter County totaling 25,000 feet of copper. This area alone cost the taxpayers $37,000. State highway engineers estimated the total damages over a four-year span were around $2 million.

They needed a way to prevent thieves from easily accessing the copper.

Officials chose the LightpoleLock, a patent-pending locking cover for light poles. More than 300 have been installed in Kentucky during 2016. The traditional base-mounted device is a long-term solution because it has no gears or springs and is corrosion- and tamper-resistant.

The LightpoleLocks are working: There have been no reports of damage to protected poles.

Unauthorized manhole access leads to sewage spill in Kalamazoo

overflowKALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Vandalism caused 450 gallons of sewage to spill in in a Kalamazoo neighborhood on Saturday.

The City of Kalamazoo Department of Public Services was called about a sewage overflow from a manhole in a wooded area at 1720 W. North St. at 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 5, 2016. City workers found the manhole had been taken off and sticks and logs were stuck into the sewage line, which caused the backup.

Read more here.

Fiber cuts a large problem in San Francisco

Within the last year there have been 16 so-called fiber cuts in the San Francisco Bay Area. According to the F.B.I., someone or some group has been going through manholes to sever fiber optic cables that supply telecommunications to large sections of the region, which is home to technology companies, academic institutions and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, overseer of the nation’s nuclear weapons.

Following each incident (usually occurring late at night and involving two or three separate fiber cuts) residents couldn’t make land or mobile calls, not even to 911, or send texts or emails. Hospital records in some instances were inaccessible. Credit cards and A.T.M.s didn’t work. And forget about Googling, watching Netflix or remotely turning on a coffee maker. (For security reasons, Lawrence Livermore declined to say how the cuts affected its operations.)

When we talk about the Internet, we talk about clouds and ether. But the Internet is not amorphous. You may access it wirelessly, but ultimately you’re relying on a bunch of physical cables that are vulnerable to attack. It’s something that’s been largely forgotten in the lather over cybersecurity. The threat is not only malicious code flowing through the pipes but also, and perhaps more critically, the pipes themselves.

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Copper thieves target street lights along Hawaiian highway

NANAKULI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) –

lightpole copper thieves in Hawaii

Lightpole copper theft

If you drive along the Leeward coast, you may notice some street lights are out. That’s because police say thieves have stolen the copper wires inside of them.

Nanakuli resident Mike Duarte caught a crook in action Sunday around 11 p.m. “I heard hammering noises like somebody was hitting something metal,” he said.

When Duarte looked out his window, he saw a man crouched down working away at a pipe next to the highway.

“He has curly hair and he was wearing a black tank top and board shorts with white stripes on it,” Duarte said.

That pipe connects to streets lights and when Duarte walked outside, he realized they were all out. “That’s when I called HPD to let them know there was a possible theft in progress.”

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Indiana State Police urge motorists to be on the lookout for wire thieves on highways

Wire thieves have returned to Indiana’s highways, the Indian State Police said.

Two years ago, in 2014, a rash of wire theft was effectively halted, following arrests and aggressive countermeasures put in place by the ISP and INDOT. “Now Indiana taxpayers are being ripped off again and highway safety is being compromised, all due to brazen metal scrapper thieves who are stealing the wiring from highway light poles,” the ISP said in a statement released on Thursday.

The ISP, accordingly, is appealing to the community to be vigilant and report suspicious activities immediately to 911.

How to identify a wire theft in progress:

* Look for the INDOT logo. Thieves might be suited up in construction gear, but it’s unlikely their outfits or trucks will display the INDOT name or logo.

* Is the crew working at night? INDOT crews will never engage in electrical work in the dark. Because of the wiring’s high voltage, this sort of work is extremely dangerous in the dark.

* Watch for traffic control measures. INDOT crews will always have significant traffic control to alert drivers of maintenance work. Electrical repairs are never a single-truck job, and we use large, yellow-and-white vehicles. INDOT trucks have flashing signs and crews typically use an array of cones and barrels. Thieves, on the other hand, will almost always have a single truck, and will try to appear as discreet as possible. They have also been known to pose as a stalled motorist.

* Suspicious activity. Does something seem amiss, but you just can’t put your finger on it? Report it, just in case.

“Despite additional security measures, and the mortal danger presented by stealing live electrical wires, the thieves persist, especially along I-80/94 and Cline Avenue in Northwest Indiana,” the ISP said. “The result is darkened highways, threatening the safety of drivers, and a growing cost to Indiana taxpayers as INDOT crews replace missing wires to relight highways.”

Wire Theft Impact

“Copper theft is a wasteful drain on taxpayer dollars,” the ISP noted. “Breaking into a single junction box can result in a $4,000 to $15,000 loss, depending on the thickness of wire stolen and damage to the box. Often, thieves will target multiple boxes in one night.”

“Wire theft also threatens highway safety,” the ISP added. “Without signals and lights, drivers can become confused or find it hard to see ahead of them. Without overhead signs to communicate about collisions ahead, drivers can’t effectively plan their routes.”

Originally published here.