As HBO's brilliant crime drama The Wire has taught us, a modern dope fiend has many creative ways to finance his or her hard-drug habit. One of the most tried-and-true methods involves stealing copper wire from houses, light fixtures, and construction projects and selling it to scrap-metal yards.
It's this method that's currently testing the mettle of the King County Sheriff's Office.
Via KCSO spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart:
In a new twist to the theft of copper and other metals, apparently thieves are now climbing telephone poles to get to the copper wires.
Thieves have struck at least three times in the last five weeks, just in the Sheriff's
Office jurisdiction alone.
On May 2nd, about 250 [feet] of telephone cable was cut down from poles in the
3200 block of S. 162nd St. in SeaTac. At least 330 telephone customers
On May 11th, about 330 feet of cable was cut in the 23200 block of 156th Ave
NE in unincorporated King County, affecting 300+ customers. The cable
was 2" to 3" in diameter and included a guide wire that supported the thick
Most recently, about 150 feet of cable was cut down near S. 128th and
12th Ave S. in the city of Burien. This occurred on June 2nd.
Pacific Iron & Metal Company tells Seattle Weekly that they will pay up to $2.75 per pound for insulated copper wire. And given that coils of wire can sometimes weigh a hundred pounds or more, securing a load of it can lead to a serious crack-rock windfall to the industrious burglar.