Copper Thiefs

This morning, when we arrived at the office, we discovered someone had broken onto our property. Our building sits on 20 acres of land surrounded by a fence and two gates. Each gate is locked at night with a chain and pad lock. Someone cut the chain, drove around the building, cut the locks on the 6 foot tall electrical boxes, cut out the copper neutral and ground wires, and then moved on to an enclosed (but not locked) area with another electrical box attached to the ceiling. They stacked 4 chemical barrels together, piled four pallets on top and stood on top of that to reach the electrical box. And then, based on the fact that a large green pair of bolt cutters were left hanging in the electrical box, we think he nicked a live wire and shocked himself. We are hoping badly enough that he needed medical care and he can be tracked down. He (or they) did approximately $20,000 worth of damage. For about $1000 for worth of copper that they will probably sell to a salvage yard to get cash for drugs.

We need to shut the power off to the building because it is now ungrounded, but we couldn’t shut it down today, because it would be too clear to the thieves that all of the wires are safe to cut now, and they could come back to steal the rest of the copper wiring. So the building is sitting in a semi-dangerous state until 7am when they will turn the power off so that these people can’t do more damage.

Tomorrow should be fun.

What a strange world we live in.

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