“This is a money-making crime,” said Chief Joseph Fox, commander of the New York Police Department’s Transit Bureau. “It’s economy-driven.”His first clue was;
Longtime New York City subway cops have seen copper thefts before, but last week’s heist on a stretch of open-air tracks was particularly brazen: 500 feet of inch-thick cable stripped from the rails in the middle of the night.Which copper sells for $3 per pound on the scrap metal market. Not just in New York;
In California, thieves removed copper from San Francisco’s BART rail system in Oakland, San Francisco and San Mateo counties on a single weekend in 2011. In Washington state in 2013, a man clipped 70,000 pounds of copper wire from the light rail tracks south of Seattle. That same year, some telecommunications linemen at New York’s Long Island Rail Road made off with $250,000 worth of copper in 56 thefts.The copper transmits electricity to 'the third rail', which thieves aren't afraid to touch, for the reason Chief Fox stated. So, make a federal case out of it;
New York U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is proposing legislation that would require scrap sellers to prove they own their scrap and buyers to cover any purchase above $100 by check or another traceable means. He also wants to create a new federal law making it a crime to steal metal from critical infrastructure like railroads.Roger Rabbit didn't mention that problem in its version of the Great Conspiracy to Destroy the Streetcars.
“It is time to put thieves who steal scrap metal from critical mass transit infrastructure, as well as homes and businesses, behind ironclad bars,” Schumer said. “Every ounce of copper or metal stolen from New York’s critical infrastructure could cause the next big commuter delay, a subway line suspension or even a disaster.”