Thieves Steal Copper From Tesla Superchargers

Hope this doesn’t become a trend like catalytic converters did. I suppose it depends on the price of copper.
In all, nine of the Tesla supercharging stations’ cables behind the Vallejo Target store were cut over the weekend and reported to Vallejo police early Sunday morning, leaving drivers in a bind.


AI, EV Power Copper Price to New Heights
Copper prices are rallying on bullish long-term trends and tight supply conditions. A short squeeze pushed copper futures to a record high and to a record premium over later months…The metal has gained more than 25% so far this year.

Investors seeking to tap the bullish trend in the commodity should consider CPER, COPX, COPP, ICOP and COPJ. Metal miners are the biggest beneficiaries…



Copper has been favored by scrappers for years. Vacant homes are stripped of copper pipes and wire. Air conditioning units are stolen for their copper and aluminum. The sprinkling system here at the condo received an upgrade a couple years ago. Now the system has a big loop of 2" copper pipe sticking above ground, next to my unit. In the fall, when the sprinkler company guys blow the water out of the sprinkler system, they remove that big loop of copper pipe, and stash it in my basement, because, when depressurized and drained, thieves can cut that loop of pipe off and be gone very quickly. I think the sprinkler guys mention numbers around $3,000 to replace a stolen loop of pipe, with it’s associated valves and pressure controllers.

The funny part of the entire metal theft story, is the “JCs” at the scrap yards, that pay market price, no questions asked, for whatever the metal thieves bring to them. One of the local TV stations ran an experiment. Working with U-Haul, they borrowed a U-Haul aluminum truck loading ramp, and took it to local scrap yards and tried to sell it. “No problem” said the scrap yards. The under cover reporter would point out the legend, cast into the ramp “Property of U-Haul”. The scrap yard agent said “bah, it will be melted down tonight”.



And those ramps aren’t even locked down, even if the door is closed… Wow… I’ve a collection of copper wire, busbar, waveguide, and also aluminum conduit, various stuff saved over the years, just have to find place to sell it all… A lot of the wire is insulated, should be stripped, but that’s a pain, too… Someday… Don’t really need the money, just don’t want to trash any of it…

1 Like

Check for a scrap yard in your area. There were a couple in Kalamazoo back in the day. I remember riding along with my grandfather, pulling his home made box trailer full of old newspapers, down to the scrap yard, for a few dollars. Of course, now, people are persuaded to give material away for “recycling”.

One of the scrap yards I remember in Kazoo is still running. As I scrolled down their web site, I saw a pic of the Dodge Fountain, which is on the Detroit river front. The fountain has recently been restored. A number of years ago, scrappers stole all the piping and pumps that operated the fountain, and the city was too broke to replace all the stolen equipment at that time. At one time, Michigan had a process where anyone with a tow truck could pick up “abandoned” cars, obtain title to them, and sell them for scrap. One tiny problem, the process was so loose, that tow truck operators could pick up any car they saw, claim it was abandoned, obtain title, and sell it for scrap. Detroit clearly has plenty of scrap yards, each run with the ethics of a pit viper, to provide a market for all the stolen metal.

1 Like

A lot of the electric grid in Mexico is aluminum instead of copper because lawlessness has its own laws, and everyone pays through the nose.

d fb

We have problems with thieves prying open streetlights and stealing the copper wire. That gets expensive–fast. Even when caught with the stolen wire in their trucks, judges refuse to jail them. Aluminum will essentially have the same issue if the thieves “liberate” enough of it.

Re: insulated wire needs stripping

Electricians used to “burn copper” to remove insulation. I wonder if that is still legal?

Not here in CA, I’m sure, no more burn barrels of my youth, either, stink up the neighborhood… So a mechanical stripping chore… A lot of mine is small gauge, 24-20 ga or stranded, twisted pair… cloth covered, too… Made to last forever… So there it sets, too tough to shred… Left from tele projects, some jobs we returned gaylord bins of scrap back to the smelters. I don’t know how they handled it. But this isn’t a huge amount, maybe just toss in the recycle bin…

1 Like