Copper Thieves Risk Lives Taking Down Power Lines

WEST SACRAMENTO – Brazen thieves ripped down thousands of feet of live power lines overnight in West Sacramento to steel the copper wires used inside.

The theft happened overnight at Riske Lane and River Road in a construction yard across from Raley Field.

Police arrived on scene of what they thought was a blown transformer but found that thieves had taken an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 feet of copper wire from power lines.  PG&E crews say it is more like 5,000 feet, or nearly a mile, of power lines.

PG&E says the thieves threw a weighted rope over the lines, attached it to a truck, and literally ripped down the 12,000 volt power lines from eleven power poles. 

“They had to be out here eight hours.  That’s a lot of work,” said Bill Harrington of PG&E.

PG&E crews say it was an extremely dangerous thing to do and the thieves could have been killed.

  • K.shot

    Put an electrician out of work and they soon begin to stray!

  • Terry

    CA is the only State that does not require proof of where people aquire cooper wire from when recycling it. I coach a travel baseball team and it is very common for tournaments to get canceled or modified because of copper wire theft. If CA would make a law requiring people to show proof where the cooper wire was from when recycling there would be no more wire theft. Instead, our elected officials cave to the recycling companies. Google cooper wire theft in CA and you will see this is out of control.

    • Matt

      The sad part is California does have a required proof law on the books. The cops are so short staffed they can’t deal with it.

  • Terry

    Yea, but if I talk or text on my cell phone while driving they bring the SWAT team out. There is enough law enforcment out there, but there is more money in herassing working people then the crooks.

    • elliott the Cat

      You are 100% CORRECT !

      When was the last time you heard someone get pulled over with a clean record and get a warning ?

      People with outstanding track records are paying for donuts !

      Crooks are on the pay roll !

  • Eddie

    Cat ,Terry And Matt all hit it on the head!

  • James

    Dont blame the crooks, blame the recycle people who also do not enforce the law. they do not care where the metal comes from only if they can make money from it. Start to charge the recycling complanies money so they can pay for the police to enforce the lawas for them. Get the crooked people out of the business and then things like this will go away. With so much cable, where can they sell it at since everyone now knows.

    PGE and all the other electrical companies should set up their own sting and get it on film. It will be a lot cheaper then having to replace the cables all the time. Once they start to find the problem compines then the police can take over. Doing this wiill get the criminals worried that tey can lose the whole business and money. Put some bite into the laws to reduce this from happening.

    • Ouch

      I’m with James. Make crimes a bigger deal. You want to steal something, 2 years in jail. Make it so criminals won’t even think about breaking the law.
      As far as recyclers go, require photO I’d with proof of where copper came from. If the recycler breaks the law, shut them down. Make it not worth doing bad things.

  • RecycleBill

    Funny thing is: Power companies DON’T use copper, they use steel. So what we have here is one of two senarios: Either the thieves are too dumb to know they’re steeling steel or the reporters writing the story are too dumb to know the difference between telephone, CATV and power lines.

    I’m betting it’s the second.

  • Shelly

    CBS13 just did a story on the law requirments for recycling copper. It seems the recycling companies are the ones that encourage this.

  • Sactonogo

    How can someone be out tearing down powerlines for EIGHT HOURS and no one notices or thinks to call the cops? That is so Sacramento. No one wants to get involved.

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