Antioch Copper Wire Thieves Reach New High – Or Low

ANTIOCH (KCBS) – Just days after Pacific Gas and Electric lamented the ongoing and widespread theft of copper wire from its Antioch power poles, the utility is now revealing that a particularly brazen thief – or thieves – stole an entire transformer from a power pole.

This is in addition to the knocking down of an estimated 300 power poles, stripping them of their lucrative copper wiring.

There is copper wiring in the transformer, as well.

It’s a risky move, the utility warned, because it’s energized electrical wiring that’s being taken. In fact, people have been electrocuted or otherwise seriously injured attempting to lift the wiring.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

It will cost PG&E tens of thousands of dollars to replace the downed power poles and stolen transformer. The price tag to replace just one power pole and its missing transformer: $12,000.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • RobertHaw

    There can not be that many places you can sell copper. Are the authorities working with these places to catch the thief’s?

    • Joseph

      If they are anywhere near as clever as the metal thieves around here, they smelt the copper down so that it can’t be positively recognized as the original stolen items.

    • Dave

      Not really. A few places are self-governing, but the unscrupulous dealer will smelt the stuff pretty quickly and send it off.

  • Joe Doakes

    Obama’s America . . . this is what happens when you take a free and prosperous nation into the twilight of socialism.

    • kls525

      You’ve got to be f**king kidding me – Obamas’ America? You mean Bushs’ America right???

      • jwil

        bush isnt president. In case you didnt know

    • Scudbuster

      And it’s only going to get worse if we stay on HIS course.

      • Tiberius Franklin

        its not his course its the banks course…of course. the only countries having their british – democracy style to them are those arab countries that do not and have not practiced british banking. september 11 2001? how about september 11 1776, or september 11 1812? the brits are at war with us, the attacks on 911 took place in new york on top of the revolutionalry war battlefield, the battle of manhatttan when british admiral Howe attacked General washington BY SURPRISE after being turned down by Dr Franklin on Staten island for a pardon in return for rescinding our declaration of independence….on september 11 1776…since the city of london banks own the world media…I guess you missed that one….fight now or perish, bring down the banks

    • dissonance

      LOL @ Socialism. Has anyone who makes these ridiculous claims attended a high school social studies class? I’m guessing “NO” given that socialism is a system of government brought into existence by an uprising of the “working class”. What we see now is the uprising of the monied class…..the TOTAL opposite of socialism.

      Just a heads up before you make a fool of yourself, again.

      • Cogito ergo sum

        I agree. We have a fascist governnment, a merger of business and state. Socialism is about restributing wealth to everyone. The United States has the largest gap in the industrialized West between rich and poor. This is not Socialism. This is Fascism. Obama and Bush are one in the same. Democrats and Republicans need to wake up to this fact. I keep hearing that Bush went to Congress before going into Iraq and how he was so much better than Obama. Bush also LIED to Congress and said there were WMDs in Iraq, which there were not. He signed the Patriot Act which has destoyed our Constitution. Obama is continuing Bush’s destructive action because our government is no longer controlled by the people. It’s controlled by the bankers and major corporations and they place whoever they want in the Head Puppet position. We need to look past Obama and Bush to the real enemy behind the scenes. This is a fascist police state, no a socialist country.

      • socialism II

        Socialism is a system of government brought into existence by an uprising of the elites, who in turn use the working class as cover.

      • Russ

        I thought that Socialism was a system of government brought into existence by the elites making sheep of the working class to do their bidding. Huh.

      • anti-dissonance

        So, in insulting people, you’ve forgotten about most of Europe’s “social democracy”. Dissonance, you’re the idiot here. You aren’t informed past your own misinformed, uneducated beliefs. Go to school yourself. Read….ANYTHING!!!

      • dissonance

        “social democracies” are not tantamount to “socialism”. thus the clarifier, “democracy”……

        *shakes head*


      • jason sugss

        Idiotic talking point from the socialist left. The first job of the socialist left is to convince the world there is no such thing as the socialist left.

        As to the facts, there are different concepts of socialism. The most extreme is when the government owns the means of production. This socialism is commonly called communist and results in a totalitarian state such as the former Soviet Union.

        Then, there is the soft socialism of Western Europe where taxes are extremely high and the government controls the economy through heavy regulation and manipulation of the tax code. These European socialist states provide services for free that the private economy could easily provide such as utilities, major manufacturing, education at every level and high benefits levels for unemployment and retirement. This kind of system make the citizens dependent on the government for everything and robs them of their economic initiative and political motivation. This is the direction we are moving in with Obama. Yes, Obama is a European style socialist. Now, it is you who needs to go back the failed high school that graduated you with honors.

      • Sarah

        Interesting. Under socialism, the “working class” only attempt to work is the effort it takes to hold their hand out. hussein obama’s vision of America is to create decay and destruction. As people become more desperate and poor under his criminal administration, expect more crimes. I suggest you take a look at Greece.

      • madeuce

        “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” – Winston Churchill

      • arniek991

        I’m confused. If I study hard, apply myself, get an education and a career that I am happy with and that pays well, why are people less inclined or intelligent than myself entitled to a lifestyle like my own?

        Isn’t that euro-socialism in a nutshell?

      • Sad

        OK Dissonance. With my masters in Economics in hand I feel quite qualified to call you an idiot. Socialism is brought about not by any kind of uprising but rather a mindset and change in policy that grinds itself in the direction of government control. Yes we are trending that way due to this incompetent idiot you elected. If we don’t wake up soon, the country I love will be lost to fools like yourself, sad times for sure!

      • Jay b.

        What an ill informed IDIOT. Are you really THAT stupid, or do you try hard? LMFAO!

    • Joe de

      This was happening for 8 years BEFORE Obama became president.

      I see you were redirected from the Drudge.

      While you complain and point fingers, let solution oriented americans do some work.

      • Russ

        My solution – vote out Obama and as many of his lap-dog Dems as possible.

      • jason suggs

        Bush’s deficits were terrible at 200 Billion. Obama’s deficits are catastrophic at 5 times that level. Maybe you could learn a thing or two over there at Drudge.

      • SFnomad

        Bush’s last budget disaster was an $800 billiion deficit. Appears you don’t learn much over at Drudge.

      • God

        @SFNomad: Try $300 billion. Get your facts straight before you accuse others of not knowing something.

      • jlburdge

        And just WHO are these,,,, solution oriented Americans you are talking about ???

      • hebgb

        Please point us in the direction to all these result oriented people who can’t figure out where to catch 300 pole downers – what a joke!

    • samba

      Vote for the front-runner – Ron Paul in 2012


    • Jimmy

      Yeah, but two wrongs don’t make a right, right?

  • Dave

    The only way to stop it, is to go after the persons who pays these thieves for the copper. if they can not sell the copper they will not steal it!!!!!

    • CJ

      ? or how about the theives? they could sell it anywhere you dummy.

      • CJ


    • SubjectoftheUSSA

      if they’re taking entire transformers and not getting caught, it’s probably a pretty safe bet that they’re melting this stuff down somewhere/somehow

      • kls525

        Why would they have to melt it ? Thet could cut/shred the copper.

      • JMWinPR

        Also a pretty good bet they work for the power company

    • Frank

      No need to go after the buyers. Most are now required to make a copy of the sellers photo ID so when the police come looking they know who the seller was.

      • vera

        Police are more concerned about speeders or wrong orders in restaurants. or making sure 10 y old does not have lemonade stand without permit, resellers licence and Health department approval. Also, arresting 6 y old for sexual harassment in the claasroom, harrasing smokers in public parks etc,etc.Not enough time for copper theft after all budget cuts. Priorities, prierities…

    • Steve

      Dave. Come on buddy, lets think here.
      Who can prove it? That is like someone selling lemonade on the street, only you won’t know that the lemons have been stolen from someone else’s tree. :/

  • kauboy

    Oh yeah… we need four more years of this!!!

    • Cogito ergo sum

      It’s going to be A LOT more than 4 more years if Americans don’t wake up to the fact that the president is a puppet for the central banks and corporations. We need to audit the Federal Reserve and reign in the deliberate, destructive spending and borrowing by our government. The FED is a private bank, a fact most Americans don’t know. They control our entire economy, they will be the end of us. They have NO oversight. Stop whining about Obama. He’s a traitor and should be prosecuted as such, he took an oath, just as Bush did to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Both are criminals and are disgusting liars, but they are not the people who are running the show here. We need to look at the central banks and gigantic corporations who buy out our government. Our Congress is completely corrupt as well. The government has been taken over by a bunch of greedy traitors who care nothing for Americans. I think our only hope is Ron Paul. He has been pushing to audit the Fed for years.

      • samg

        obama presidente for life….yeah! mmm …. mmmm ….. mmmmm

      • Submitter

        Hey look, someone gets it! Obama and Bush are from the same tree. While the dolts sit around defending one or the other, America is burning to the ground. Invest in bullets you fools, and save one for yourselves.

  • JM

    Why aren’t recycling centers (not the little bottle/can places) being forced to turn in the folks who come there to get money for the copper? If a sting needs to be done anywhere, big recycling centers should be first on the list. In SoCal, it is not uncommon to see large trucks loaded up with all kinds of metal driving up and down residential streets looking for things to steal or haul away and turn in for cash at those centers. If copper is the new trend, bust them when they go to collect their cash.

    • jason suggs

      waste management, including recycling is run by the mob in this country. dont you know that?

    • Steve

      Here’s the thing, this coming from someone who knows the metal recycling industry… the thieves can take the core out of the transformer, clean it or burn it, cut it up in a million unidentifiable pieces, sell it to some law abiding random Joe. How can I say, this person stole this material and I am not going to pay him?

      I’m not going to sell you a carton of eggs because you could be using drug money to buy them.

  • Robby G.

    Who knew copper was so easy to move. Must have some organized crime involvment.

    • JLin

      Good point.

  • Steven Moshlak

    Look around for the smell or mess left by burnt hydraulic fluid or crankcase oil. That is what is used for coolant to keep transformers heat in check.

    • Ken Taylor

      Being an electrical engineer, the most used coolant is sterile mineral oil. Anything that is dark or has a burnt smell is an indication of high PCB contaminated oil.

  • Mr. Happy Pance

    So is this to say that Antioch isn’t the place to visit? I thought the “summer of recovery” solved everything. No? Hmmmmmm.

    • Mikey

      I’d rather go to Chico than Antioch…

  • John Cowan

    Hope and change in action!

  • Copper Thief Steals Entire Transformer From Power Pole... | Breaking News

    […] column, 1st story, link) Related stories: FL Churches Scorching After Copper Thieves Steal Wiring From A/C […]

  • Patti

    Copper thieves cost an electric company here in central Oklahoma $1,000,000 when they broke into a substation and stole $100 worth of copper. They caused that much damage. Another copper thieve killed himself after digging into the ground and causing a natural gas explosion. His truck was found resting in a crater.

  • jasperddbgghost

    Hope and Change….and copper theft.

  • JustAGuy

    It’s the Obama economy. Folks are getting desperate.

    • Joe de

      Where were you when it was the Bush economy?
      Oh yeah …your a hypocrite and amateur politician who would rather play the whole right vs left game.

      • Russ

        I wish we HAD the Bush economy. He had his faults, but ignoring reality to “fundamentally change the United States” was not one of them.

        Give me the Bush $1.85 a gallon gas, the Bush 50% as high <5% unemployment rating, and inflation that is not hidden by leaving out the cost of gas and food.

      • Mikey

        Where were we? We were sitting happy with 4.7% unemployment and 52 months of positive economic growth in a row. We were doing just fine until the democrats took control of congress in 07.

        You idiot libs really need to find some new talking points. Your current ones have already been debunked!

      • JustAGuy

        Ypu! I was working!

        ….ahhhh, the good old days, when Americans were working!

  • Ya

    How does an every day run of the mill thief know how to remove the copper and an entire transformer without getting a few thousand volts shooting through their body? Do they ever find crispy would-be theives on the ground?

    • solo_poke

      Maybe he used to install them or make them, and he got laid off some billionare can have another ivory back scratcher.

      The sudden in rise in unemployment does not mean a whole lot more people suddenly decided to become lazy.

      Ignorance is what the wealthy count on to fool the people into supporting their self centered greed.

      • Russ

        Most of the wealth held by billionaires is not spent on silly stupid luxury items. They are not the kind of squandering idiots you make them out to be. Most of their money is invested in businesses and enterprises that create jobs and feed the economy – at least as much as can be done with the equivalent of a six-year-old calling the shots.

        Get over this idea that the wealthy are sitting on the money that should just be given to other people. Those other people in most cases have done nothing to deserve a penny of anyone’s money, certainly not MY tax money.

  • Fanny Forbes Franklen

    Enjoy the PCB’s that are inside and used to cool them.

    • ericholder

      That depends on the age of the transformer.

    • Mikey

      Still spamming out for your website Fanny? Or was it Aunt Bee?

      • Aunt Bee

        Spam implies something is for sale. Nothing is for sale at

        Looks as you have already sold out. though. Typical troll.

        If you’re a grown man using the name Mikey, then you’re also a sold out degenerate.

  • Mathew

    I feel like I am LIVING Atlas Shrugged.

  • tpsullie

    must have been the monster from Super 8

  • ferg

    what a stupid comment

    • Ymous

      Was hoping to bait someone with my troll comment. Well done ferg :]

  • whimp

    If the liberal court system would crack down on those buying copper wire and those stealing it ….oh well what the hell we dont even exicute killers.

    • Joe de

      The drudgies are out in force today!!!!

      • Russ

        I love how the Left’s first reaction is to make like six-year-olds and make up funny names for people. Nyah, nyah!

      • Sik

        oh, Joe.. I feel so sorry for you. You must the last one left on earth that believes in the big BO! I’m gonna light a candle for you and pray that you wake up from your deep, deep slumber.

      • David McWilliams

        You’re just upset that we can think clearly, because we haven’t been on the kool-aid for years.

  • ferg

    Going the way of a thirld world country. If you want to blame someone, blame the Obama supporter and the culture of corruption that is breeding in America today.

  • chocolate larry

    I think Obama and Biden had it wrong by a year. 2011 is actually the “Summer of Recovery”. Copper recovery, that is! If it ain’t tied down (and even if it is), it’s fair game!

    Some believe that in 2008 we flushed the republicans and bush and everything bad in America. Change, we were told, was coming – and we would watch the waters cease to rise.

    Yes, I can feel the change happening all around me and the oceans do seem to be subsiding. It’s a sort of swirly, spinning feeling, too, as the waters subside I mean, ah, er, uh, drain…

    Drain and swirl – that’s because most of the washout happens well after you tug on the toilet handle! It only takes the accomplishments of a few entreprenurial/commodity trading Americans to show us how far we’ve come since those heady days of 2008. Too bad the turd in DC that’s stinking the country up is still floating on top.

    I’ll trade my transformer for your smartmeter!

  • Jeff

    Come on America.. did you really hate Bush that much that you sent some third rate whathisname African Marxist with a muslim name to replace him ?

    With a 4.5 % unemployment did you really believe the media that things were that bad ? If things were that bad then, what are they now ??

    • Joe Bloski

      Yes, I did hate Bush that much that I would have voted for anyone else. Obama inherited an impossible mess an it’s not reasonable to expect his administration to fix evrything overnight.

      • Russ

        LOL Joe Bloski. Obama and the Dems have done NOTHING that is going to help the economy, and after 2 1/2 years nothing is getting better AT ALL. NOT AT ALL. Overnight? Obama has had 900 overnights and all we have are his wet dreams to show for it.

      • Joe de

        Funny how quick conservatives passed the economic hot potato to democrats. It takes balls for conservatives to point fingers at Obama’s mess and then push for deregulation.

      • jason suggs

        What an idiot. Bush didn’t run in that last presidential election, honey.

      • camoguy

        Overnight?! Too funny! It has been two and a half years!!
        After 9/11 the economy turned around in a week after a MUCH larger crash than Obama can fathom. Even with the Democrat congress putting the brakes on the economy,
        Unfortunately, it will take the Tea Party Republicans to stand up against this administration to stop the decline and the raisiing of the debt limit.

      • Mikey

        You gotta love the liberals and their blind hatred. Never mind the fact that it was their own democrat held congress that drove us into the ditch…

  • joe blow

    What an idiot Anon Ymous is

  • Mr. T

    I wonder if the idiot that stole the transformer knows that the oil inside of it contains poly-chlorinated bi-phenols. So he will probably have cancer in a couple of months after handling it anyway….justice served.

    • ericholder

      Well, that all depends on the age of the transformer. Modern ones (produced after the late ’70s) do not contain PCBs.

      • solo_poke

        They are made using mineral oils, which are not hazardous like PCB’s. Still the losses due to long distance transmision of electricity are significant, when compared to micro solar and wind which is produced where it is used (whitin 100 feet).

        This change would create massive economic growth, however the fortune 100 would loose their dependant energy consumers, so the government buries this plan deep.

        The wealthy elites, are too greedy to allow people to produce their own energy. I built my own wind turbine and converted my Jeep to electric drive, all the components were purchased on the internet for $15,000. Between the cost of gas, heat and electricity payback is much less then 5 years.

  • ericholder

    What’s sad is if one of these dummies gets electrocuted pulling a stunt like this and their relatives sued the power company, there would be some stupid people on the jury who would award a huge settlement

blog comments powered by Disqus
Guide To The Holidays
Shine A Light On The Holiday Season With ‘Giving Tuesday’

Listen Live