ssǝɹddns ɹou ɹɐǝɟ ɹǝɥʇıǝu plnoʍ ʎʇǝıɔos ǝǝɹɟ ʎlnɹʇ ɐ ʇɐɥʇ ƃuıʇnɔolɯnɔɹıɔ suıɐʇuoɔ ǝʇıs sıɥʇ



Sunday, May 6, 2012

Metal theft: A felony?

We’ve all grown accustomed to media reports of metal, copper and aluminum thefts. So much so, that reports of stolen manhole covers, storm sewer covers, electrical line components and railroad rails, just to name a few, have become commonplace.

So, while outright theft drives the much-ballyhooed recycling industry, the increasingly brazen metal thieves are putting not only theirs, but your lives at risk as well.

Just over a week ago, copper thieves blackened a wide swath of lower Luzerne County. An industry insider who shall go nameless told me the thieves hit a line that was powered down, but in very close proximity to a line carrying 21 billion jiggermasts (?) of electricity. In other words, they were fortunate they were not blackened like burned toast.

That same insider also told me that some thieves have taken to cutting their way through chain link fencing at utility substations where poles, wire and transformers are stored.

In this first video, British Railway Police visit scrap metal recyclers in hopes of educating them on tagiments and other identifiers, as well as hunt for stolen utility company property. Does the possibility of riding on vandalized rail lines give you pause for thought?

This next video gives you a pretty good idea of what happened in lower Luzerne County just a few days ago. And note that the guy who suffers from sleep apnea lost access to his machine when the power went down. Lives at risk, people.

And, tens of thousands of dollars in repair costs so that someone can cash-in on a couple of copper trinkets? That's unacceptable.

I read where one of our local state legislators authored a bill to clamp down on the sale of stolen metals to recycling dealers, but it was hampered or flawed or some such thing. Meanwhile, as you navigate your way through your busy day, hope that you don’t steer your way over the exact spot where a manhole cover or a storm sewer cover sat just hours ago.

A few years ago, while out enjoying a pre-dawn bicycle ride through the city, I encountered two idiots who were stripping aluminum siding from the side of an abandoned home and stuffing it into stolen shopping carts.

That was the only time I ever impersonated a police officer when I toned them with a Maglite while inventing new and exciting vulgarities on the fly. They scattered. But I’m sure they returned later on to finish what they had started.

And being that we have a recycler of metals situated just up the street a ways, I wondered if the recycler would have accepted a couple of shopping carts filled with aluminum siding from two idiots that looked as if they just arrived in town direct from Tent City, U.S.A. Nothing suspicious about that pair, heyna?

Sadly, I suspect that the two aluminum thieves had nary a problem cashing in on their most recent theft.

Anyway, these chuckleheads are endangering our lives on a regular basis. So when another one of them is found fried to a utility pole, put a medium-well sticker in between his lips, snicker at his stupidity and leave his body there to be scavenged by the birds. To hell with those who would put our lives at risk for a measly heroin score or another forty ounces of malt liquor.

Since a single metal theft could result in a death or multiple deaths, I say our local state legislator should push to have any and all metal thefts classified as being a felony. That's right, a felony.

And with that, I’m off to enjoy the latest in the Playboy audio book series.

Later

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