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Copper thieves strike again on Kauai

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 11:42 a.m. HST, Sep 27, 2012

For the fourth time since July, thieves stole or attempted to steal copper lines owned by Kauai Island Utility Cooperative.

Equipment in Puhi in Kauai was stolen in the latest incident, which was discovered on Monday. 

At about 4:30 p.m. a blown fuse occurred in Huleia Valley. KIUC workers responded and discovered about 600 feet of uninsulated copper had been stolen. The scrap value of the copper is estimated at $150, according to the utility company. 

On July 3, someone used a chain to pull down power lines on Maalo Road near Wailua Falls, stealing about $1,500 worth of copper. 

Copper wiring also was stolen from poles a couple weeks later in two separate incidents on Ihu Road and Halewili Road in Kalaheo. In a news release, spokeswoman Shelley Paik said the wiring was stolen after the thief or thieves cut down the poles. 

Thieves on the Garden Island also have targeted poles and equipment owned by the Kekaha Agricultural Association and Kauai Coffee in recent months. 

Tampering with live power lines to steal copper is extremely dangerous, said KIUC official Carey Koide in a news release.

In January 2011, a 34-year-old man suffered severe burns to his face and body after he allegedly attempted to break into an electrical vault near the former Hard Rock Cafe on Oahu to steal copper wire. In September of that year, a 45-year-old man suffered severe burns after he allegedly attempted to steal copper wiring from a Sand Island warehouse. 

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hanoz808 wrote:
i hope they catch these guys. the people of kaua'i are paying for these fixes
on September 25,2012 | 02:04PM
cojef wrote:
These criminals have no conscience, in that the entire community as whole suffers from their crimes. Lives could be lost when communication or powerlines lines are cut and stolen. Salvagers should have a handle on who these individuals are, unless there is a middle men or private companies in cahoots with the thieves.
on September 25,2012 | 02:36PM
st1d wrote:
they're starting to hit water pipes, too. thieves turned off water to a strip mall and tried to dig out and disconnect the copper pipes.

also, i put out a washer for bulk rubbish. came home that night to find someone had cut away the power cord for the heavy duty copper wire. never thought of that. must be profitable cruising bulk rubbish for the power cords.

on September 25,2012 | 02:52PM
nitpikker wrote:
they gotta start cracking down on the scrap metal places!! for high value metals they have to show a receipt or note on official letterhead to get paid!! someone has to be held accountable!! the way it is now with fake I.D.s the crooks have nothing to fear!!
on September 25,2012 | 03:27PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
Stealing copper off of cables that the people rely on for power or to light the highways should be given a more severe punishment as people's safety are at stake. Enough of the coddling. They should be given ten years automatically. If they are brazen enough to endanger themselves then they are brazen enough to allow others to be put in danger. These people are a danger to the community.
on September 25,2012 | 05:04PM
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