First the fixtures from public restrooms and now the wires that carry electricity. Watch on, Planet Earth, as the United States of America begins to dismantle itslef and bring to a close an experiment gone horribly wrong that was started more than two hundred years ago with the founding of the country. I’m certain you saw Mink Hippie’s story on toilet fixtures yesterday, perhaps you remember when I reported the theft of some expensive equipment from a waste treatment plant a few months ago, and now this. Hawaii, may be the harbinger of things to come in America…I remember not too long ago reading about a gang that was stealing plants from yards, this isn’t as crazy as it sounds as many rare tropical landscaping plants can be easily sold for huge sums of cash…
- The state Department of Transportation is asking for the public’s help in tracking down thieves who have been stealing copper wiring from light poles along the H-2 Freeway.Thieves have struck three times in six months.
Drivers along a stretch of the H-2 Freeway near the Ka Uka Avenue overpass are in the dark at night after vandals have ripped off the copper wires from the light posts in the area.
The first time it happened was in October. They hit again in December. In the last few weeks, the culprits hit again.
It’s creating a dangerous situation and costing taxpayers thousands of dollars.
About 50 light poles along about a quarter-mile of the H-2 Freeway are not lit up at night after being stripped of their copper wiring.
“That creates a driving problem or driving hazard because this area doesn’t have any town lights to light it up,” DOT Director Rod Haraga said.
In the latest theft, vandals made off with about a mile of copper wire, DOT officials said. The thieves are breaking into the junction boxes at the base of the poles and pulling the wires out from the bottom, they said.
No one is quite sure how the thieves are getting away with the crime. However, DOT officials have a theory. They believe the thefts are being made during the day because the lights are on at night, and the thieves use concrete barriers to keep hidden from view.
Chae Chon, owner of Aiea Recycling, said he asks for identification from everyone who comes to sell scrap metals. He said it would be hard to track down the thieves since it’s difficult to tell where the wires are from when they’re brought in.
Chon said he can’t tell where the wire is from if it is stripped.
Stealing copper wiring can be a lucrative business. Copper sells for between $2.73 and $3 a pound on the market.
“It’s not only costing the state, but it’s costing all of our taxpayers extra money that could be used on repaving highways, fixing potholes and a number of things,” Haraga said.