Copper thieves stealing from power lines
Joe CongerKENS 5 Eyewitness News
Electricians say they are replacing more and more of it — copper wires taken from outside A/C units, from construction sites and even from public utilities.
Sam Parks only had to look up to know something was wrong. From utility pole to utility pole for a third of a mile, torn wire was left dangling.
"This is the most blatant, and in my opinion, the most potentially dangerous that I have seen," Parks said.
Suspended 20 feet in the air, what CPS Energy calls the neutral line, had been stolen for its copper.
As a result of the theft, the 8,000-volt line began using Parks' electric box as a ground. It could have cost him his life had he gone to investigate.
More than 1,600 feet of copper was taken, and at $1.75 per pound, copper is a premium metal. The state mandates that anyone selling it provide identification to recyclers and other dealers.
But even recyclers say, despite the paperwork sent to the Texas Department of Public Safety, thefts continue.
"And nobody wants to look at it. We turn it in, once a month. So what?" said recycler Bob Brienden.
Thieves targeting highway signs in Seguin
Nydia Lopez KENS 5 Eyewitness News
The Guadalupe County Sheriff's Department is stumped, and deputies are asking for your help to corner these crooks. The signs are worth thousands of dollars.
They're not hard to miss, unless they're missing.
"It doesn't take but probably 10 minutes to drop the sign," said Russell Beck, with the Texas Department of Transportation's maintenance department.
"We're assuming they're stealing them for the aluminum," Beck said.
"They're just dropping the signs at night and taking the signs and leaving the legs," Beck said.
Some of the signs that have been stolen measure 10 feet by 12 feet, weigh several hundred pounds and cost $3,000 or more each.
Replacement signs have been ordered and should arrive in about a month. The Guadalupe County Sheriff's Department is investigating.