Tuesday, August 2, 2011

On copper thieves..........

There's this 30,000 square foot industrial building in town that
has been denied love and attention for way too many years. It's
roof was so bad that you could get wetter standing inside the
building than out.  Plus, over the years the building had been
enlarged, using the "this ought to be good enough" school of
architecture and design.  Well, no.  It wasn't good enough and
there was a partial roof collapse.

For better or worse, over the years, we have collected more
than a few of these unloved buildings and have done our best to
put them back into productive use.  So, it will come as no
surprise that we acquired the worst roof in Newark, and the
building that came with it.

The roof ended up being unsalvagable and has now been totally
removed.  We have spent more time, and money, with architects
and engineers designing a whole new roof system than was
budgeted.  It is the way of old buildings.

But, this is not the story I set out to tell..........

I'm really here to tell you about the copper thieves.  With
commodity prices up, an empty and lonely industrial building
makes a tempting target.  At one time there was an extensive
amount of electrical wiring running through the building.  Not so
much anymore. If one is willing to cut a hole in a security fence
and climb into a building after breaking windows, then one can
spend undisturbed hours stripping out the copper wires.  All of
which happened.  What amazes is the time, energy, and
knowledge that our thieves put into this exercise.  To do what
they did required hard work, with a bit of danger on the side. 
After all, the juice was still on to the electrical service.  We
found one metal tool that they used, and left behind, that showed
serious signs of being zapped by a significant electrical charge. 
Bet that one stung a bit.

It's all a bit sad really.  Somebody willing to work that hard,
(at the end of the day earning a decent wage for their effort)
choosing to destroy value rather than add value.  Bad karma,
me thinks.   Anyway, all this ran through my mind when I saw this:

cartoon courtesy of

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