by Charles A. Monagan
Nov 3, 2011
02:24 PMOn Connecticut
The Madness Continues
I just saw this story at courant.com this afternoon about two men in Bethany who were arrested for trying to steal the copper from power lines downed by this past weekend's snow storm.
If you didn't see it in the current November issue of Connecticut Magazine, Joe Santangelo wrote a piece entitled "Metal Madness" that examines the evergrowing number of metal thefts in the state. In the piece, Joe mentions a number of recent robberies, including two men who were arrested for stealing the copper out of houses damaged by Tropical Storm Irene. Nothing like profiting from other people's misery, right? Apparently these two gentleman from Bethany agree.
Anyway, one of the challenges noted in the story was that enforcement of the current laws were lacking. In fact, no scrap metal dealers in Connecticut have ever been arrested for buying stolen scrap metal, which has been a problem in deterring thieves—if they know someone will buy their ill-gotten metal and no one will go to jail, why stop stealing it? Since we went to press, however, that has changed.
A few weeks ago, the owner of a Bridgeport scrap metal yard was arrested when police discovered a bell that had been made from melted-down guns at the scrap yard. According to the Connecticut Post, police also found an eight-foot light pole and a crosswalk pole (with the activation switch!), city property worth more than $1,400. The owner was arrested and charged with second-degree larceny and violating scrap-metal regulations, and had to post a $5,000 bond. Of course, how could anyone expect the dealer to know these items were stolen, right? I mean, you find inscribed bells and crosswalk poles just laying around all the time. "Honest" mistake, I'm sure.
Okay, considering the high volume of metal theft occurring in the state, this is may not amount to more than tossing a ballbearing in the melting pot, but at least it's a step in the right direction.The Madness Continues