Copper thefts on the rise, and so are electrocutions

Tech Culture

When stealing copper, two bad things can happen: you can get caught and you can die from electrocution.

Two New Hampshire men, presumed to be thieves, were buried this week. The two were found in an unoccupied power plant in Massachusetts next to some cutters and coils of wire, according to InformationWeek. They didn't have permission to be there.

Two Arkansas men recently died trying to strip copper wires from utility poles, the magazine said. Chinese authorities are also contemplating relying on fiber rather than wire to connect the rural hinterlands of the sprawling nation.

Why? Copper prices are rising. They were $3.14 in March. Other commodities have also become targets for thieves. Rising platinum prices have caused thieves to steal catalytic converters out of cars. Converters contain small amounts of platinum. Platinum pricing is driving companies like Nanostellar to come up with alternatives.

Aluminum kegs have also become popular items to steal when aluminum prices climb, according to sources.

But a keg or a catalytic converter can only stub your toe. No one has ever been fried.

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