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#389902 - 10/14/10 02:01 PM Copper Thieves Cripple BEL
Marty Offline
Residents of rural Belize had to endure a 15 hour blackout today and it was due to another incident of theft. It happened at 11:30 last night - when thieves who were attempting to steal underground copper wires - unearthed underground aluminum cables on the Coastal Road near Gales Point Manatee Village.

Today BEL dispatched work crews to the area who constructed temporary overhead lines. Power supply was restored to Gales Point Manatee Village at around 3 o'clock this afternoon.

Works to replace the damaged infrastructure and reconstruct the underground system will continue throughout the week and does not require any planned power outage for customers in the area.

BEL's Dangriga Substation Building, located at Mile 6 on the Hummingbird Highway was targeted on Saturday when thieves stole utility grade batteries.

Channel 7

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#389910 - 10/14/10 02:52 PM Re: Copper Thieves Cripple BEL [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

15-Hour Power Outage, Rural Belize District Due to Theft

Theft of Underground Cables Causes Extensive Damage to BEL’s Distribution System in Gales Point
Unearthed underground lines
    Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) reports a 15-hour power outage in the rural Belize District following another incident of theft.  At about 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 12, thieves apparently attempting to steal copper wires, pulled out and extensively damaged underground aluminum cables on the Coastal Road near Gales Point Manatee Village. 
    BEL dispatched work crews to the area who worked throughout Wednesday, October 13, to construct temporary overhead lines.  Power supply was restored to Gales Point Manatee Village at 2:48 p.m. yesterday.
    Works to replace the damaged infrastructure and reconstruct the underground system will continue through to the end of the week.  These works are not expected to require any planned power outage for customers in the area.
    BEL is asking anyone with information on this incident to contact the Police Department or call BEL at 0-800-235-2273 or 0-800-BEL-CARE or call Crime Stoppers at 0-800-922-8477.

Underground lines were ripped from their connection to equipment on poles

Unearthed underground lines
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#389914 - 10/14/10 03:27 PM Re: Copper Thieves Cripple BEL [Re: Marty]
ragman Offline
This is a very dangerous endeavor. At one power plant that I worked at 3 guys cut a hole in the fence and broke into a locked building to steal copper wire. Only 2 left. One will be a vegetable for the rest of his life. It isnt pretty to cut into a 13 KV line.

At another old inactive plant we owned, a guy was stealing copper on an overhead 110 KV line he thought was abandoned. After a week of his family looking for him we found him in the weeds at room temperature.

Fooling around with electricity and especially high voltage is a very risky game that eventually you are going to lose. I feel bad for the community that had to go without power and I hope in the future they would report suspicious activity to BEL, if they do not already.
_________________________
Jim
Somewhere on a beach in Belize

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#389916 - 10/14/10 03:50 PM Re: Copper Thieves Cripple BEL [Re: Marty]
elbert Offline
The people i talked to said copper sells for $3.BZ a pound and Lead from batteries is twice as much...Does that sound correct to you?
Vacant houses up here on North Ambergris get the copper wire striped from them quite often.
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The Dive Shops Daily Blog
http://scubalessonsbelize.blogspot.com/

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#389929 - 10/14/10 06:52 PM Re: Copper Thieves Cripple BEL [Re: elbert]
Tim Callanan Offline
How many places buy copper ? How hard would it be to actually track these guys down .BEL needs to get aggressive to catch these guys. Sounds like we have more copper thievery to come , we need make an example out of someone .


Edited by Tim Callanan (10/14/10 07:05 PM)
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Tina's Island Life
http://www.caribbeaneliteservices.com/blog1//

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#389933 - 10/14/10 07:17 PM Re: Copper Thieves Cripple BEL [Re: elbert]
ragman Offline
elbert,

I sold some copper and lead last August and the copper/brass was about $1.50/lb. The lead (which was clean, it was old diving weights) was not worth double the copper as I remember. It was about 300# cu and 70# pb and I no longer have the slip so I just don't remember.

Below are the current prices of metal but remember this is not the price for scrap which has impurities with it. (dirt, plastic, ect.)
http://www.metalprices.com/

COMEX/NYMEX
Copper 3.81 $/lb.
Lead 1.09 $/lb.
_________________________
Jim
Somewhere on a beach in Belize

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#389934 - 10/14/10 07:21 PM Re: Copper Thieves Cripple BEL [Re: Tim Callanan]
ragman Offline
Tim, You are right the easiest way to catch them is through whom ever is buying it. In the US the scrap yards have licenses which can be revoked if they knowing buy stolen metal. In addition you must provide a positive ID when selling scrap and your information is recorded.
_________________________
Jim
Somewhere on a beach in Belize

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#389936 - 10/14/10 07:43 PM Re: Copper Thieves Cripple BEL [Re: Marty]
SimonB Offline
The Mennonites bought a whole load of scrap metals from us. They said they send it up to Merida to have it recycled. Saw them driving around town the other day with a cart loaded with electrical wire. Not saying anything...

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#389988 - 10/15/10 01:58 PM Re: Copper Thieves Cripple BEL [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

A THIEF OR THIEVES MAKE OFF WITH BEL UNDERGROUND CABLE

Residents in the Rural Belize District were subjected to a fifteen hour power outage on Tuesday after BEL reported yet another equipment theft. According to a report from the Belize Electricity Limited, at about 11:30pm on the said date, thieves attempting to steal copper wires pulled out and extensively damaged underground aluminum cables on the Coastal Road near Gales Point Manatee Village. Dawn Sampson-Nunez is the Manager of Corporate Communication and spoke to us about the potential dangers of carrying out these acts.

Dawn Sampson-Nunez; Manager of Corporate Communication, BEL 

Its definitely a serious issue and it can definitely result in serious injury to the person or persons carrying out these acts. They can event be electrocuted and that is one of the reasons why we keep on pushing the message to the public; stay away from power lines. I think in addition to safety issues when these persons carry out these acts, these criminal activities it has a critical impact on the service that we provide our customers. For example, this incident on Gales Point where there was a fifteen hour power outage as a result of the outage. It is a safety issue and its also an issue from a service reliability point of view. We would really appreciate any information that could lead to the arrest of some of the criminals behind these activities.

Nunez says a reward is being given for information leading to arrests or information.

Dawn Sampson-Nunez

If we can get information that would lead to the recovery of the items, in this case the utility grade batteries, that would also be good. We are offering a reward of one thousand dollars for any valuable information. Persons with information can call the nearest police station or Crime Stoppers at 0-800-922-tips. They can also call Belize Electricity Limited. In terms of the frequency with which these incidents are occurring, it has been a problem over the past few years; people trying to steal copper wire from different equipment on our power system. We have been working closely with the police department to try to get to the bottom of it. Like I said earlier it has been a concern from a safety perspective and also from a service delivery perspective.

Nunez ended by saying that the works to replace the damage infrastructure will not interrupt the power availability in Gales Point and should be completed by the end of the week.

LOVE FM


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#390000 - 10/15/10 04:08 PM Re: Copper Thieves Cripple BEL [Re: ragman]
elbert Offline
Originally Posted By: ragman
elbert,
I sold some copper and lead last August and the copper/brass was about $1.50/lb. The lead (which was clean, it was old diving weights) was not worth double the copper as I remember. It was about 300# cu and 70# pb and I no longer have the slip so I just don't remember.

Ouch! lead is a different market down here. Diving weights cost $12.bz a pound...and you sold them for scrap,Ouch!
battery recycle into diving weights is big business an average dive boat usually owns a couple of hundred pounds of lead weight and we have a lot of diveboats in San Pedro.
_________________________
The Dive Shops Daily Blog
http://scubalessonsbelize.blogspot.com/

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