VIDEO REPORT: CrimeTracker 15: Thieves Steal Copper Wire

UPDATED Thursday March 29, 2012 --- 5:21 p.m.
By: Barclay Pollak

The signs are clear.

Keep out.

If you still don't get it -- the consequences are spelled out for you. You can be shocked, burned or even die. If that still doesn't persuade you, barbed wire lines the fence to keep you out of MG&E power substations. All of this is done to keep you out and safe.

But according to MG&E's Jack Eich, last Friday or early Saturday morning someone ignored all the warnings, cut a hole in a fence and stole about $3,000 of copper wire and caused another $500 in damage.

It happened at their substation on Sycamore Street on Madison's east side. Today we spoke with Eich at a different location. He told us crimes like this are rare for MG&E. The same can't be said for the city.

In the month of January alone, the Madison Police Department said they had seven separate reports.

Captain Jim Wheeler says a lot of the stolen copper is sold to metal recycling facilities.

Right now MPD is working on a couple of ways to crack down on the activity. They're putting together a new ordinance that would require recyclers to share transaction info with them electronically. They also want to track frequent sellers.

Captain Wheeler says, " Hopefully what we can do is to identify these people who are frequently going to metal recyclers and target those people to see where are they getting the metal from and how are they getting it. "


Posted Wednesday, March 28, 2012 --- 11:30 a.m.

Madison police investigate two reports of thieves stealing copper wire.

***First report:***

Incident Type:

Incident Date:
03/23/2012 - 7:46 AM

Sycamore Ave.

Friday morning, Madison Police were dispatched to Madison Gas & Electric's substation on Sycamore Ave. after thieves stole over $3,000 in copper wire and, in the process, caused an estimated $500 damage to the facility by cutting chain link fences and locks. The site is currently being used by several companies that are working on an electrical construction project. Some of the missing wire belonged to American Transmission Company. Anyone with information on this case is urged to contact Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 266-6014. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward.

***Second report:***

Incident Type:

Incident Date:
03/22/2012 - 12:10 PM

Manufacturers Dr.

A project supervisor for a construction company notified Madison Police of a copper wire theft last Thursday. The victim said someone forced entry into job site on Manufacturer's Drive and stole approximately $2,000 worth of wire.

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