Stealing Hot Copper Wire

joanC

Well Known Member
Today from a long time CPA friend, who lives full time in Penasco: Overnight, on a well lighted street in a residential area, the 200 amp overhead electrical line from the transformer across the street to her mast slightly inside her property was stolen. The wrapped splice at both ends had been "unspliced". CFE replaced in within a few hours, and said copper theft was rampant.

How did they disconnect a hot line like that? There was no sign of any fried thief.
 

corndog

Active Member
Forum Supporter
Same is true, with theives, while stealing, if you unwrap or open the splice and work on (cut ) 1 wire at a time then somehow wrap or cap the hot end of the wire and move on to the next wire and do same ( there are probably 3 seperate lines) , you wont get shocked if you are careful. I'm far from being an electrician, but I have seen electricians touch and work with hot wires without being shocked but only 1 wire at a time. Or they could possible cut all the wires with insulated cutters, but bigger than the guy in the video is using..
Another simple way to do it and probably what really happened. http://waterheatertimer.org/images/IMG_1692-power-pole-1000.jpg if you look above the transformer in the drawing you will see a fuse next to it shows the fuse blown,( actually there will be 2 fuses on your friends transformer) these can be reset with a long pole with a hook on it, ( they can also be disconnected with a long pole) CFE comes out and resets it if it blows.. my transformer has the same exact fuses on it.. mine blew one time and my neighbor reset it with a pole he had.. so they could have possibly had a pole with a hook on it quickly killed the power, then after the wire was stolen reset the fuse or since there was no power after the cut, just left it.. Check the pole and you will probably see this type fuse on it. Easily they could have one person ready to cut the wire and another to pull the fuse, that would only take minutes then reset the fuse and go cut the wire at your friends house. The pole is collapsable and fiberglass by the way, so not obvious..when CFE did the repair they would have pulled the fuses first, but in this case they could have already been pulled.
The fuse on my transformer is more like a disconnect and can be reset without bringing the fuse to the ground and I'm sure your friends is the same..
 
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