Is federal metal theft legislation the answer?

In the wake of the recent theft of copper wire that knocked out service to two New York City subway lines, N.Y. Sen. Charles Schumer introduced federal legislation intended to deter metal theft. Putting some teeth in enforcement of the crime is important. However, there are many instances where such thefts could be prevented in the first place if municipalities, transportation authorities, DOTs and others used available infrastructure security devices, including those from LockDown Inc. The cost of securing infrastructure, such as lightpoles, pullboxes and manholes, is far less expensive in the long run than the repairs needed following theft of wire.

Copper thieves are targeting Georgia weigh stations

Thieves hit all but one light pole at the weigh station in Douglas County, Georgia on Interstate 20 and knocked out power to one of the scales.

Investigators say the same thing has happened at other weigh stations across the metro. Thieves stole over $100,000 worth of copper from weigh stations in Carroll, Catoosa and Douglas counties.

Read the full story here.

Bowling Ball Vandal Causes Sewage Spill

Excerpt from an article on KPTV.com

MILWAUKIE, Oregon — Someone who stuffed a bowling ball inside a manhole cover in Milwaukie has caused a sewage spill at a Milwaukie apartment complex. Clackamas County authorities say it’s not clear when the act of vandalism happened, so they’re not sure how much sewage spilled or how long the spill existed before it was discovered by neighbors and reported yesterday.


As Scrap Metal Soars in Value, Roads Become a Little More Dangerous

EASTON, MASSACHUSETTS —  Manhole covers are being stolen across the state – including in Easton this week – after the price of scrap metal surged to an all-time high this year after a decline in 2008, authorities said.  Locally, scrap metal thieves are stealing manhole covers in Easton subdivisions, police said Friday, putting drivers and joggers at risk.  Three covers were stolen in the last week, according to Department of Public Works Superintendent Wayne P. Southworth. Two were taken on Old Country Way in North Easton and one from School Street in South Easton. The missing cover on School Street was found by a runner who nearly fell into the hole.  “It’s extremely dangerous for someone to do this,” said Southworth. “It scares us to death here. I wouldn’t want to be driving down one of these roads. You could damage your car and suffer serious injury.” 

Read MoreLockDown_News_Scrap_Metal_Value_Roads_Dangerous

Simple Solution Would Have Prevented Medical Emergency

Excerpted from an article by Emily Flanagan at the Northern Echo

An elderly couple struggling with cancer have become the latest victims of metal thieves when the theft of telephone cables prevented them calling for help.  The disappearance of 200 metres of copper telephone cable from Exelby, in North Yorkshire, nearly had devastating consequences for Jane Croshaw and her husband, Brian.  Mr Croshaw has terminal cancer and in the early hours of yesterday he needed urgent medical attention.  But the theft of underground telephone wires 24 hours earlier had left their home village of Burneston, near Bedale, with no landline telephone.

Read Morelockdown_news-medical-emergency-300x207

Manhole Breached, Fiber Cut, 10 Million Broadband Lines Down

Excerpted from an article by R. Stickneyand

Megan Tevrizian on NBCSanDiego.com

An attempted copper theft disrupted service to some customers early Tuesday officials said.  Someone cut a fiber optic cable between midnight and 1 a.m. on Alpine Boulevard in the rural community of Alpine east of San Diego.  Seventy-five feet of fiber optic cable was taken along with 6 feet of 600 strand copper cable according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.  An estimated 10 million broadband lines were down according to deputies…A Centurylink spokesperson based on the East Coast told NBCSanDiego a man crawled into the manhole and cut into the network.  She said the man tried to steal the copper cable and that this type of incident happens “in a lot of places.” Read More


Disgruntled Employee Cuts Over 600 Fiber Optic Cables

Excerpted from an article by Claire Huang at ChannelNewsAsia.com

A former SingTel engineer has been sentenced to 15 months’ jail for taking revenge on his supervisors.  Thirty-five-year-old Terrance Tan Khoon Shan was convicted of cutting fibre optic cables belonging to OpenNet, in various areas including Clementi, Ang Mo Kio and Toa Payoh, on more than 600 occasions between March and May 2011.  The court heard that Tan’s misdemeanour stemmed from his dissatisfaction after he was terminated by telco SingTel.  Tan joined SingTel as an engineer in August 2009 and was terminated a year later on September 2010.  Unhappy with his supervisors, Tan decided to sabotage them by damaging the cables.



Vandals Crash Northern CA Internet for 18 Hours

Excerpted from an article by David Benda at Redding.com
Internet service was restored Wednesday afternoon for Charter Communication customers after vandals cut a fiber-optic cable, crashing service across
Northern California for about 18 hours.  The cable was cut near Emeryville near Oakland.  The outage halted email service andclippers-300x210
online bill payment services for all city of Redding departments.  Charter officials said they didn’t know how many customers were affected.  “More than just Charter customers were affected,” Susie Evans-Wood of Charter said Wednesday.  Evans-Wood said Comcast customers and local Internet service providers also were impacted by the disruption of service.  “It was a pretty dramatic cut,” she said.