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Florida Copper Theft Shows Need for Metal Theft Prevention Act

This story out of the Daytona Beach (FL) News Journal shows the problem of metal theft that is continuing throughout the United States.

Copper theft is a common problem for electrical distributors: according to the 2010 NAED research study on theft and fraud in the industry, 85% of distributors have experienced theft, with cable and wire being the most common products stolen. The NAED supports this bill’s comprehensive approach to dealing with copper theft, and we have been working to get Congress’ attention about this issue.

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill on June 13th, but a vote by the full Senate has not been scheduled.

Courtesy of the Daytona Beach News Journal

By Lyda Longa

The theft of 1,000 pounds of electrical wire containing copper knocked out power at a concrete manufacturer near DeLand, costing the business about $50,000 in damages, Volusia County sheriff’s investigators said.

The theft of the wire occurred sometime between this weekend and early Monday morning, a sheriff’s report shows.

When employees arrived at Tarmac America on North Spring Garden Avenue on Monday morning, they discovered electrical boxes and electric relays had been destroyed, the report shows. All the wires inside and outside the electrical boxes had been cut and taken.

The thief entered through a chain link fence on the property at the 400 block of Spring Garden, and a sheriff’s investigator believes the burglary occurred between Sunday night and Monday morning.

During the same time period, Duke Energy Florida, which is just northwest of Tarmac America on Wheeler Street in DeLeon Springs, was also burgled. The thief in that case made off with aluminum panels, aluminum and copper wire, a separate sheriff’s report states.

It’s not clear whether the two thefts are related.

Duke Energy officials declined comment Tuesday and the amount of property stolen from their plant at the 600 block of Wheeler, has not been disclosed. Tarmac America officials also declined comment.

Sheriff’s deputy Morris Froscher, who is investigating the burglaries, contacted various scrap yards in the area to be on the alert for the stolen copper and aluminum. 

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