Menlo Park: Thieves snatch $14,500 in copper


Note: A PG&E spokesperson said that the $45,600 figure provided by Menlo Park police, and cited in the original story, was incorrect and that the copper was actually valued at $4,500.

Approximately $14,500 worth of copper wire disappeared from two Menlo Park sites between Saturday and Monday.

One thief cut through a chain-link fence and padlock at Pacific Gas & Electric substation in the 2000 block of Willow Road, and stripped copper from grounding tools, according to police. Price tag: $4,500.

Then, someone removed $10,000 worth of copper wire from a parking garage in the 800 block of Oak Grove Avenue.

Copper thefts aren't new. During the summer, the new Facebook campus on Constitution Drive lost approximately $18,500 of copper wire weighing more than two tons total.

But the state's trying to make the crime more expensive -- for the thieves. AB 316, a bill currently under consideration by the state Senate, proposes a mandatory fine of $10,000 for committing grand theft copper by stealing more than $950 worth of the metal.

The value of copper has been rising and is now at $4 per pound. High prices lead to high risk. Several men have been electrocuted during attempted copper thefts in California during the past year, including a 16-year-old boy in April, according to other news reports.

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Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 17, 2011 at 12:13 pm

"High prices lead to high risk. Several men have been electrocuted during attempted copper thefts in California during the past year"

A just punishment for the crime and saves taxpayer money in the court and jail systems.

Like this comment
Posted by Buford
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Aug 17, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Let the cops (coppers) go after the copper.

Like this comment
Posted by Sybille
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Aug 18, 2011 at 9:46 am

Who buys this "scrap" copper? Wouldn't a legit business be aware that this was most likely stolen?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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