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San Joaquin Shootist

Disappearing plaques on California Historical Markers

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Oh, that just chaps my hide. :angry:

 

Stolen for resale as scrap. And of course, if they're valued at less than $950, it's only a "ticket-able" offense. <_<

 

This has become an epidemic in the state... it's become common for scrap thieves to steal electrical wiring from high school football stadiums, public park lighting systems, even traffic signals. Heck... about three years ago two cretins were caught after stealing a number of bronze urns from a Merced cemetery, dumping the ashes into dumpsters, then smashing the urns with hammers to sell as scrap. :(

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If they would prosecute the scrap yards with a healthy fine of several hundreds of thousands of dollars and possibly jail time for accessory after the fact it would take the profit out of it and this foolishness would stop.

As long as there is a buyer nothing is going to stop it. Remove the buyer and there will be no incentive.

Edited by Sedalia Dave
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They are also stealing manhole covers. Often with the utility or city name on them. The scrap metal dealers don't seem to care. We had problems several years ago with people going into foreclosed houses and stripping the wiring and copper plumbing out. They would destroy the house in the process to get several hundred dollars worth of scrap metal. They were cutting catalytic converters off of certain types of SUV's for their titanium content and pulling the wiring out of light poles on the interstate. There is no end to the ways someone will go to make a crooked dollar.

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Copper thieves stripped the wires from a RR crossing near home a few years ago. Three days later a log truck T-boned the lead engine of a train at about 60mph. Truck driver was killed instantly, engineer died a few days later.

 

All so a crackhead could get another hit of meth.

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Last year they stole all of the cables leading to a small city's outdoor Christmas light display

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When I worked in light rail transit we were always getting hit by recycle thieves. We had to grease any copper wiring below 6' off the ground. These morons would try and cut the overhead catenary wire using tall ladders. Cool thing is 750 volts takes care of some of that thievery and if the power's off the 3000 pound tension plays heck with their bones when they cut the line and it whips through the air at breakneck speed...almost literally "breakneck". In Charlotte they gutted a non-powered substation an cost the taxpayers $200,000 back in '07.

 

Scum is everywhere.

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I thought the catalytic converter innsrds were platinum, not titanium.

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I thought the catalytic converter innsrds were platinum, not titanium.

They were / are. Some now are ceramic and worthless to dirtbags.

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I remember when I was growing up in California, there were special highway markers on what was call "El Camino Real" ...the Kings Highway on highway 101. They represented and marked the original Spanish road between their missions. They were a kind of bell in a steel standard all along the route. Over the years they all disappeared. I don't really think they were salvaged, just used for peoples backyard decorations.

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When they constructed the new road through our little town they built a hiking/walking trail and put up brass interpretive and informational plaques along the way. Well they were up about six months or so before someone stole everyone of them one night. The county wised up when they replaced them with plastic signs and they have been up about five years now.

Edited by Yul Lose

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I really shouldn't complain too much here as I make a living at protecting peoples property but the list of recycled items go on...

 

Air Conditioning condensers.

The brass hook ups on commercial building for the fire department.

The Copper wire in parking lot lighting.

Steel ramps stored outside commercial building loading docks.

 

Lately they have been taking the dumpsters and taking them to be recycled.

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I remember when I was growing up in California, there were special highway markers on what was call "El Camino Real" ...the Kings Highway on highway 101. They represented and marked the original Spanish road between their missions. They were a kind of bell in a steel standard all along the route. Over the years they all disappeared. I don't really think they were salvaged, just used for peoples backyard decorations.

I think the original ones were brass, and well done. I think they changed them to steel in the 70s as needed to replace them, used to see the old ones for sale in antique stores. I haven't seen any for years on Highway 101 or El Camino real as the old 101 is known as as it passes through the various towns.

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Locally, the temporary aluminum bleachers at the high school football stadium were stolen.

Scrappers.

Someone went through a cemetery back home with a hammer and chisel and knocked bronze name plates off ground level markers.

Scrapyard took 'em.

Flower holders and veterans' flag holder markers ... all have been taken.

My thoughts on the matter are less than Christian in nature and unfit for a public forum, but bear in mind I write the Old Sheriff, and he has used the solution.

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A couple of crack heads went to the local cemetery around Veterans Day and took all the bronze flag holders the local VFW had placed on veterans graves, like 200 of them, leaving the flags on the ground. When they arrived at the scrap yard the next morning, the scrap dealer took one into his office "to assay it", telling the crack heads that it could be solid copper. He stalled them long enough for the police to arrive. Due to the number of flag holders involved, and their replacement cost, the crack heads were charged with felony theft. Volunteers replaced all the holders, and someone donated replacement flags. I believe the crack heads got a prison sentence. Whatever the length of that sentence, it wasn't enough in my opinion.

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