GEEDO From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 366 posts, RR: 0 Posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 1663 times:
Here in PDX, we're seeing a big increase in the theft of catylitic converters from vehicles and bold thefts of large amounts of copper in various forms. Of course, its the meth head tweakers and dirt poor people that are to blame, but I wondered if anyone knew of any successes in fighting the problem in your area. I keep coming up with the same idea. Why can't they pay some reservest deputy, or or other entry level criminal justice type to pull some time at these recycling yards that are paying cash money to people that bring these metals in? Doesn't it raise any suspicion at these places when someone with a thirty year old, barely running pickup truck pulls in with several hundred feet of copper wire? Or how about five catylitic converters with obviously fresh cut pipes on each end? Can't they take these people aside and ask the obvious? "Where abouts did you come up with hundreds of pounds of usable material that you are willing to accept scrap valur for?" Or: "Why are all these converters cut off when most have bolt style flanges?" Or: "Why are your hands shaking so badly and how come your pupils are so dialted?"
Sure is funny how answers are so simple, yet solutions are impossible to achieve.
Lobster From Germany, joined Oct 2008, 49 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 1656 times:
There is a pretty big problem in the MSP area. Within the last 6 months or so there have been a few construction sights hit with people steeling copper, sometimes taking it right out of the building after it's been installed. There are also a few parking lots that got somewhat notorious for having catalytic converters stolen, as well as off dealerships. I haven't seen anything in the news that says they caught any of these douche bags, so I assume it's still happening.
Seb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9832 posts, RR: 17 Reply 2, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 1656 times:
Quoting GEEDO (Thread starter): Sure is funny how answers are so simple, yet solutions are impossible to achieve
I think it comes down to one of two things:
1. Greed. The metal merchants can melt down the metal and pass it on for $$$.
2. Fear. Ever delt with a meth head?
I have often wondered the same thing: Why don't these metal buyers call the cops? Why don't pawn shop owners call cops? I have been hearing about metal theft in the PDX area for about two years. Authorities around here don't seem to want to get involved with fighting any crime. MAX is another point for that...
Lgbga From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 185 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 1632 times:
Quoting GEEDO (Thread starter): its the meth head tweakers and dirt poor people that are to blame
Here it's not just druggies and dirt poor people. If you're willing to steal you can make a pretty good living stealing cat converters. At lot of them go for $100. It's the platinum inside that's so valuable. Someone here in our small town recently had theirs stolen while they ran into the grocery store during the day. They were driving a Ford Explorer. We don't have a lot of petty crime but this kind of stuff is on the rise. We have a automotive repair shop with some abandoned vehicles parked out back. My husband went to check on one of them and someone had smashed the back window out to get to the jack, jacked it up and stole all the wheels. Plus they stole a trailer load of metal supports for some shelving. Like I say we haven't had this kind of stuff going on and we haven't had to be so cautious. But now people will steel anything metal they can make a buck on.
Quoting GEEDO (Thread starter): Why can't they pay some reservest deputy, or or other entry level criminal justice type to pull some time at these recycling yards that are paying cash money to people that bring these metals in?
Sounds like a good idea to me. My husband went the other day to drop off some stuff after cleaning out our shop and he said there was a meth looking woman there with a piece of copper she got like 20 bucks for.
This just shows how the prices have changed. We used to give our stuff away just so we didn't have to haul it off. It wasn't worth our while but now, we definitely take it.
Airfoilsguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 6, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1606 times:
A number of cars in my company's parking lot have had their converters stolen. I had IS configure a window on my computer so I can keep an eye on the parking lot with the video camera. I hope the thieves come back so I can call a few supervisors with pipes on the radio to deal with the crack heads.
KC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 11712 posts, RR: 52 Reply 7, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1604 times:
We are having this problem around DFW, too. But, if the metal recyclers will stop giving small sums of cash for the metal (example, recycled copper goes for about $3US per pound, the recyclers sre giving $1 per pound to the guyd who "just bring in recycled metal"), and questioned where these guys got it, the problems would stop.
Airfoilsguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 8, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 1599 times:
A few years ago some genius form my company tried to sell 100 pounds of waspaloy to a local scrap yard. The scrap yard didn't even know what it was until he looked it up. Well he called us, the only company within 100 miles that actually uses waspaloy, and we called the cops. He was fired and arrested the next day.
SBBRTech From Brazil, joined Jul 2007, 722 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 1583 times:
Here we got a lot of that copper theft crap. Most are taken from power and communication lines.
The problem is the little action taken against the junkyard owners that buy the stuff from the thieves...they make big bucks from it and the (eventual) jail time they get is ridiculous.
"I'm beginning to get the hang of this flying business" - C3PO
RJdxer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 10, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 1577 times:
Quoting Signol (Reply 5): How they are removed without electrocuting the thieves is beyond me.
We had a similar event, over 100 yards of power line cut down and removed in the middle of the night yet somehow they managed to keep from killing themselves.
The other big theft going on here in Houston is the outdor condenser part of the airconditioner. When they spot an empty house they just go in to the backyard, take an ax to the copper line where it runs into the house. Snip the electrical connections, and take the whole thing right off the pad. A neighbor almost lost his but he had left his dog in the backyard and all he had to replace was the section of copper line they had chopped through before the dog woke up and came after them. The unit was on the side of the house but inside the privacy fence.
Quoting SBBRTech (Reply 9): The problem is the little action taken against the junkyard owners that buy the stuff from the thieves...
Houston police have made a couple of arrests of junkyard owners that were taking illegal scap. Can't say they aren't working on the problem down here.
ORFflyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 11, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 1576 times:
I haven't heard much about catalytic converter thefts, but copper is being stolen left and right around here. Apparently, there is a bunch of copper in cell phone towers - there has been a rash of that lately.
CaptOveur From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 12, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 1571 times:
We are in the middle of a huge wave of this at work. We have had 3 converters walk off this week. Apparently it is hard to see people with a sawzall under a pickup truck. Lately, the guys with ridiculous lifts on their pickups have been easy pickings. It is a lot less obvious to just walk under a pickup truck than to jack up a car.
Quoting GEEDO (Thread starter): Of course, its the meth head tweakers and dirt poor people that are to blame
Wrong. Our last big copper bust were 3 plumbers and an electrician working for the university doing dumpster diving after hours for extra cash. These guys all had close to 20 years in with the university and now they might end up facing felony theft charges. These guys all drove nice pickups, had great pay, and better benefits and were probably the last people anyone would suspect of being criminals.
The slightly smaller copper bust before that were 2 union master electricians working for a contractor. Yet again, they were stealing just for extra money. They went from skilled tradesman to bubba's new boyfriend in the blink of an eye.
Disposing of scrap that is not theirs is one of those crimes that doesn't even look like a crime to many of the people doing it. This is how so many otherwise good citizens are talking themselves into stealing copper. A lot of what is getting stolen may already be on the way to be scrapped. However, it still has quite a bit of value- thus it is stealing.
The converters are another matter. I have a feeling when our current batch of converter thieves gets caught there won't be a full set of teeth between them.
Some cities even have piles of copper loaded with a GPS tracker to try and catch the copper thieves.
I have a feeling the scrap yards don't really care where the material comes from and thus probably do not ask many questions.
Dougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 14, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1559 times:
Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 12): I have a feeling the scrap yards don't really care where the material comes from and thus probably do not ask many questions.
It goes beyond that. I worked for a junkman back in the early seventies mostly going out and hauling cars, gutting them and hauling them to the squasher.
Artie bought a lot of copper metal from thieves but he had what he called an "educated" scale that understated the weight by about 40 per cent. He was ripping off the thieves on the theory that they couldn't complain too much. Then he'd burn it to disguise its origin. A lot of it was telegraph wire stolen from the railroads, power cable taken from construction jobs, copper pipe and the like.
Artie also would go around buying dead car radiators and when he had a truckload we'd take them to Avenel and sell them at Berson's. He had a big kettle out behind the place for melting lead (battery terminals) and he'd pour that into every radiator to make them weigh more. He'd also take the garden hose and fill the crankcase and gas tank of every car I hauled to the squasher with water. A few scoops of sand would finish the job.
about the only straight thing he ever did was when we had a load of starters and generators and stuff to sell. We'd go to Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn and we'd get paid by the piece.
PlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11139 posts, RR: 63 Reply 15, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1553 times:
I've not heard of Cats being stolen here in the UK, but the theft of copper, tin, lead and just about any other material is a major problem. It's gotten to the stage where organised gangs are stripping churches of their flashing and copper roofs, and that replacement rails are being cut up and stolen from railway lines during the night.
There is an interesting old story though from the naval dockyards down in Plymouth; the Navy had stripped out masses of copper wire years ago when it was pretty much worthless and had just dumped it overboard into the estuary where it sat on the mud at low tide. Years down the line as the price of copper rose some enterprising fellows decided to gradually reclaim it at low water and sell the metal for scrap - they made a good living out of it, until the Navy got wind and tried to claim it back. In short, it went to court and the salvers were told they had done nothing wrong and the Navy was fined for dumping waste into the river.
JCS17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 43 Reply 18, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 1525 times:
Quoting Signol (Reply 5): Johannesburg has a problem of cable theft from the suburban rail network. Yes, the high-voltage lines used to power trains. How they are removed without electrocuting the thieves is beyond me.
Johannesburg has a problem of theft with anything that is not bolted or securely locked down.
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13342 posts, RR: 64 Reply 19, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 1521 times:
Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 15): I've not heard of Cats being stolen here in the UK, but the theft of copper, tin, lead and just about any other material is a major problem. It's gotten to the stage where organised gangs are stripping churches of their flashing and copper roofs, and that replacement rails are being cut up and stolen from railway lines during the night.
Also the cast iron manhole covers in the streets.
Not so long ago a manager of the German railway company got jailed for illegally flogging off 10 or so km of disused railway track to a scrap dealer. The scrap dealer came with a work crew and machinery, the workers themselves thought everything was legal, so nobody suspected anything until there was an inquiry in the railway company's head offices after somebody noticed that the track had disappeared.
That type of theft is probably being done by someone who has a degree of technical knowledge, so simply switching to DC won't stop them if they know how the thing is wired. I work for an electric street railway-if you have the knowledge, it is possible to swipe wire from a DC powered line-not easy, but possible.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
IFlyTWA From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 267 posts, RR: 0 Reply 23, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1422 times:
El Segundo, which is right next to LAX, is having a big problem with Catalytic Converter and 3rd row seat thefts. The city has offered to etch the converters and seats with the vehicle's license plate number for free. I don't see how this can help much if they are being melted down.
[Edited 2008-02-09 21:14:51]
"To express the excitement of travel" - Eero Saarinen