More Copper Thefts!

by Prince Of Petworth May 26, 2011 at 1:30 pm 9 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

From DDOT:

DDOT Seeks Help from Residents to Combat Copper Wire Theft

(Washington, D.C.) The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is requesting the public’s help to combat the theft of copper wire from the District’s infrastructure. On at least four occasions in recent weeks, thieves have removed electrical wire from underground conduits along city streets.

In one case the thieves stole wire that powers the sidewalk lights along Kenilworth Avenue, NE between Foote and Hayes Streets. Wire that illuminated a DC 295 overhead sign was also removed on northbound Kenilworth Avenue between Polk Street and Eastern Avenue.

In both locations the copper wire was removed from underground conduits placed between manholes in a grass median (not in the street). At these locations the theft did not require a lane or road closure and might not have draw attention.

A third incident occurred at North Capitol and Irving Streets last week, and another at South Capitol Street and Potomac Street. DDOT is currently in the process of restoring power at all four locations.

How Residents Can Help

“This is a community safety problem, and the cooperation of the public is critical,” said DDOT Acting Director Terry Bellamy. “We need drivers, pedestrians and residents to please call police if you see anything suspicious along our roadways.”

In some cases, thieves may pose as contractors by setting up staged work zones to steal the wire. Anyone witnessing a theft in progress should not confront the suspects, but rather should immediately call 911. Vehicle and suspect descriptions are very useful to authorities. DDOT is working with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to deter additional thefts and is also exploring ways to enhance the security of its electrical conduits.

Risk of Injuries and Deaths Resulting from Copper Thefts

Vandalism and copper theft endanger not only the innocent, but also perpetrators and their accomplices. Those who attempt to steal copper-wire put themselves precariously close to live electric transmission facilities powerful enough to electrocute quickly and without warning. MPD is currently investigating a recent attempted theft of copper that resulted in the suspect being seriously injured by electrical burns during the offense.

  • Sherlock Homes

    Times are tough, eh?

    • Watson

      Yes they are Sherlock. I bet you it was Professor Moriarty!

  • ET


    Wonder how long it is before one of the fools gets electrocuted. I usually don’t like to be bitchy but I for one won’t feel bad for them. I just hope they don’t take out too many people’s power when it happens.

  • Itchy Balls

    When the meek inherit the earth, keep the mineral rights.

  • saf

    Funny how they don’t tell you how to tell thieves from contractors.

  • Papers Please

    “At these locations the theft did not require a lane or road closure and might not have draw attention.”

    Ya think?

  • PG

    Looks like Bubbles and Johnny have moved south and are back on the scene.

    • BP

      Johnny’s dead. And Bubbles is clean.

      But Dukie, on the other hand…

  • victoria

    They dug a trench to steal copper wire? Like pick and shovel digging? Shouldn’t we maybe find these guys and hire them for something?


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