Thursday, September 28, 2006

Darwin Award Nominees

From USAToday:

At least seven men in five states have been fatally electrocuted since July while hacking through power lines to steal wire made of copper, which has been commanding near-record prices, police say.

“It is a growing problem with the rise in the price of metals,” says Lt. Shea Smith of the Greenville County Sheriff's Office in South Carolina. Smith says one thief died Aug. 30 and another July 7. Both were found with wire cutters and other tools that suggested their intent. He says at least 30 more copper thefts have occurred in the county so far this year.

Nationwide, police report copper thieves stealing wires from air conditioning units, exposed pipes from underneath homes, vases from graveyards in Sumter, S.C., and bells from a church in Yonkers, N.Y.

...Thieves don't always take precautions.

“It's a Russian roulette kind of situation. If they cut the wrong wire, they're at risk,” says Stan Partlow, director of physical security for American Electric Power, a utility with 5 million customers in 11 states.

He says a rise in thefts from its power lines and substations has left the public and utility workers with power outages, loose wires or exposed equipment and has caused the deaths of two thieves in Boone County, W.Va., and Pike County, Ky.

I thought that only squirrels were stupid enough to carve up high-tension wires...

HT: Caveman

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