City dealing with a rash of copper thefts

Copper wire crooks have caused power outages in The City, police said.

During the past three weeks, cops said, there were at least a dozen thefts of bare copper wire from underground sidewalk manholes citywide. There was also an incident at UCSF Mt. Zion on Wednesday when the hospital was forced to run on backup generators following a similar theft.

The targeted copper wire “is the neutral leg, which connect the underground transformers feeding high voltage electricity” to residents and businesses, police said.

The thefts caused some outages and considerable damage to residents and businesses, cops said. Police believe the punks park a car at the curb adjacent to a grated sidewalk vault between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., remove the manhole cover, and descend into the vault.

The copper wire, which is 1¼-inch thick, is cut with ratcheted bolt cutters or a hack saw, cops said, or uncoiled from the transformers.

“The target areas appear to be areas which have no overhead wires and are usually located in light industrial areas,” police said.

Areas targeted in the past include the 4500 and 4900 blocks of Mission St; 12th & 14th streets in the Mission District; Folsom and Hawthorne streets; Drumm and Battery streets; the 400 block of Jackson Street; Gough and O’Farrell streets; Sacramento and Webster streets; Turk and Masonic streets; Mission and Harrington streets and Eighth and Minna streets, police said.

Follow the San Francisco Examiner’s crime blog, Law & Disorder, on Twitter @sflawdisorder.

Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsLaw and Disorder

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Police release an image a cracked windshield on a Prius that Cesar Vargas allegedly tried to carjack. Vargas, who was shot by police a short time later, can be seen in videos jumping on the windshield and pushing a Muni passenger who disembarked from a bus. (Courtesy SFPD
SFPD releases videos of deadly police shooting

Cesar Vargas killed after reports of carjacking with knife

New legislation would make sure supportive housing tenants don’t pay more than 30 percent of their income for rent.. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner))
Supportive housing tenants could get more help paying the rent

Supportive housing tenants struggling to pay rent could soon see their payments… Continue reading

Organizers of the San Francisco International Arts Festival had planned to use parts of Fort Mason including the Parade Ground, Eucalyptus Grove and Black Point Battery to host performances by about a dozen Bay Area arts groups. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Arts festival sues city over permit denial

Organizer says outdoor performances should be treated like demonstrations, religious gatherings

An oversight body for San Francisco’s mental health programs may be restructured after questions were raised about its management and lack of effectiveness. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Behavioral health oversight body looks for new start — and staff — after mismanagement

Members of an oversight body for San Francisco’s behavioral health programs said… Continue reading

The City requires the recycling or reuse of debris material removed from a construction project site. <ins>(Emma Chiang/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
<ins></ins>
Permits proposed for haulers of construction debris to achieve zero-waste

San Francisco plans to tighten regulations on the disposal of construction and… Continue reading

Most Read