Copper thieves target highway light wiring, costing taxpayers thousands

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  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Jan. 10, 2012 12:34 p.m.

    @VST: The battery can fit in an enclosure near the top of the light... they really aren't that heavy.

    You can't tell me that converting these lights to solar would be more expensive than replacing the wiring 1-2 times a year for the foreseeable future.

  • hapticz New York, NY
    Jan. 10, 2012 10:48 a.m.

    not only do they abscond with the copper, they simply smash the plastic junction box covers to gain access, despite the proprietary fasteners!

    is there any way to have the DOT copper wire drawn/rolled with some kind of DOT/federal user imprint/logo into the metal itself? (the sheathing usually get burned off by the crooks!) thus, any copper that is 'recovered' by the actual DOT workforce would be valid, while any other person who tries to 'recycle' it would obviously be a criminal. that would not require a new law, just better cooperation with the recycle yards. although some of them can be criminals also.

    the front end cost at manufacture would be miniscule compared to full replacement cost in the field!

    perhaps stop exporting so much of our USA copper/metal products beyond our borders, at least keep our own infrastructure as the first priority, rather than 'bail out' some other dumb country. the usa must not become the global fool!


  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Jan. 9, 2012 3:47 p.m.

    @Aggie: The LAST thing we need is another law. Why? Because there have to be people to enforce the law and investigate and prosecute law breakers. All that costs money... all that goes on the taxpayer's tab.

    Why not solve the problem at the source? If the copper wire isn't there nobody is going to steal it.

  • ParkCityAggie Park City, Ut
    Jan. 9, 2012 3:01 p.m.

    How about a state law requiring a receipt for the original purchase of the copper before you can unload the "scrap". Legit construction companies would not have a problem with this, and would happily save recipes when it came time to scrap the left over from a job. Also, maybe a law that requires any suspicious recycling be reported to police, and require all who are scrapping to swipe their DL like you have to do to walk into a bar. It's pretty obviously that if you walk into a metal scrap yard with a couple thousand feet of copper wire, or a full statue or something obvious like that, chances are the person didn't gain the property by "legal" means.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Jan. 9, 2012 2:04 p.m.

    If these lights were solar powered the problem would be solved. No need for hundreds of feet of wire when there is a simple solar setup attached to the top of the light. We get more than enough sunny days to make this practical.

  • Carol P. Warnick Ephraim, Utah
    Jan. 9, 2012 1:14 p.m.

    It seems it would be less costly to put up signs along the highways to warn people if they see anyone working on the lamppost to notify a number. If the people there aare authentic they would be pleased that someone is watching and it may be a way of detering theieves. We as travelers need to be more watchful, after all we are playing for the cost of repaiing these lights with our taxes.

  • Eddie Syracuse, UT
    Jan. 9, 2012 11:04 a.m.

    It is no wonder that "Big Brother" is watching us all the time now. Maybe we need to have even more camera's around to watch everything we do. The sad part is that everyone that is complaining about all the camera's are those who don't want anyone to see what they do to get extra money.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 9, 2012 8:38 a.m.

    Start tracking everyone who tries to recycle copper. If they can't link it directly back to the job then put them on the interrogation list.

  • DEW Sandy, UT
    Jan. 9, 2012 8:11 a.m.

    put in solar at top to each light towers and see if thieves would dare to steal?