Title: Metal Thieves

Date Written: August 23, 2007

Written by: Joel T. Kant

Copyright (c) 2007 by Joel T. Kant


What I read in the newspaper today (Thursday, Plain Dealer, August 23, 2007, page A1) will not be improving Cleveland's reputation. The article reports that Internet service was slowed or lost for about a million customers yesterday.

Here in Cleveland, metal thieves are so determined that they break into houses to rip out the copper pipes out of the basement. That happened to one of my students WHEN HE WAS HOME! Hearing noises, he walked into the thieves in his basement! They had already cut a couple of the copper pipes. Fortunately, they ran rather than assaulting him. That was the story the student told.

The metal thieves in Cleveland will even pull power lines whenever they can get to them without being electrocuted. They even pull and steal underground copper cables.

According to the article, through a road construction hole or something like that in Euclid Avenue, thieves cut out a massive cable using a chain saw. It turned out the thieves made a mistake. The cable was not copper at all, but fiber optic. Those are not worth anything to metal thieves. Also, the massive cable did not just serve Cleveland, but was a major information trunkline for the some of the rest of the nation.

A month or so ago, metal thieves pulled the metal heads off a couple statues in the cultural park off Martin Luther King Junior Blvd. That got a lot of publicity. So much so that a metal recycler that had the heads contacted the police and returned them before the heads got melted down! The thieves supposedly had a story of the metal statue heads coming from an estate sale or something. The recycler had paid the metal value, then later read of the theft and contacted the police.

True or not, the story seems like it will keep the metal recycler out of legal trouble.

The heads are being or have been reinstalled on the statutes.

I have no idea how many weeks they will STAY on this time before the metal thieves strike again.


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