Copper thieves strike Mitchell, Greer parks in Palo Alto Crimes & Incidents, posted by Editor, Palo Alto Online, on Jul 17, 2012 at 10:53 am
Thieves stripping copper wiring from light poles and electrical systems at Palo Alto parks have caused thousands of dollars in damages and risked electrocution, city officials and Palo Alto police said.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, July 17, 2012, 9:30 AM
Posted by Watcher, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Jul 17, 2012 at 10:56 am
When you put candy in a dish outside your house on Halloween, it will be emptied very quickly, despite any sign saying "Please take just one".
When we put money in the form of copper in poles and such, it will be stolen. The question is, how do we theft proof the poles, or what is more expensive: replacing copper regularly, or buying surveillance cameras to safeguard our infrastructure?
Whoever invents tamper proofing for items containing copper is gonna make a fortune.
Posted by Joe, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 17, 2012 at 11:22 am
In addition to surveillance cameras, theft detection electronics needs to be added to that infrastructure that is subject to vandalism and/or theft. This would include locks, which would be keyed to some sort of detector that would alert a central operator (911, or Field Services) that an unauthorized access to infrastructure.
Since the parks are supposed to be closed at night, then some sort of movement detectors might be considered.
Posted by Cur Mudgeon, a resident of the Greenmeadow neighborhood, on Jul 17, 2012 at 12:29 pm
Clearly the thieves are knowledgeable in how to steal from electrical fixtures without being fried. Maybe even in a "work truck" of some sort, to appear as though they are on a bona fide assignment. No one saw anything? Hard to believe. Someone who is an insider or has inside contact?
Posted by Davey-o, a resident of the Charleston Meadows neighborhood, on Jul 17, 2012 at 12:55 pm
Interesting. I happened to be coming home btwn. 1-2 am mid June. Saw headlights back down that road off Charleston that boarders the school heading to the park. Other than the headlights, it was completely dark. Being alerted to the possibilities, I called the emergency number for the PA PD. The interest level was less than minimal; which is sad, because it could even have been a violent crime in progress.
I'm afraid this is due to continue to occur until surveillance is added. And, I hate that, because I don't like the idea of living under being watched all the time. But I guess it's unavoidable with some of the elements we have "working" the area.
Posted by neighbor, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 17, 2012 at 2:54 pm
This is unacceptable. We need to find ways to protect valuable public property, fixtures, electricaland etc. I had read about copper being stolen - I am surprised our city officials didn't anticipate this possibility and think about ways to protect that, for example.
Posted by musical, a resident of the Palo Verde neighborhood, on Jul 17, 2012 at 5:54 pm
Uh, Tom, these were already buried, just not secured very well.
Sanity check -- it's non-trivial to pilfer several thousand feet of wire. 27 boxes, 6 wires each, say 30 ft length to make it around 5000 ft total? I have a hard enough time with a 25-ft extension cord. Don't know how they made off with a mile. Seems it would take more than one vehicle. 60 amp rating is maybe 4 or 6 AWG, ~100 pounds per 1000 ft, call it 500 pounds. Kitco spot copper price today is about $3.50/lb. Scrap copper maybe fetches half of that, so thieves may realize, oh, $900? Worth the risk of shock or jail? No telling.
Looking closely at that photo, I wonder what the sculpture in the background is made of...
Posted by Carlitos Waysman, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 22, 2012 at 3:46 pm
Lets rig the "christy" boxes, so whenever an unauthorized person opens it, he would receive a certainly deadly electrical shock,and set off emergency lights, recording video cameras, and sirens to wake up the whole neighborhood while at the same time send a distress call to the Police Department, and only a few ones in the Utilities Dept should have the secret in how to bypass it.