Copper theft attempt turns into fiber fire

Copper theft has increasingly been in the news the last few years, as worldwide copper prices have soared. This week, in an incident suspected to have been an attempted copper theft, vandals set fire to portions of a PVC pipe running along the Interstate 5 bridge in Oregon. They probably were going to yank out copper wiring that the assumed was contained inside, but local officials say there is only fiber in those pipes, supplying bandwidth to traffic monitoring cameras. Damages are still under repair.

While some potential thieves might be failing to do their homework, so many others have been watching the value of copper rise, and have carried out their plans in a more precise manner. Rarely a day goes by without reports of copper thefts somewhere in the U.S., even as networks become increasingly fiber-based. Several states and municipalities have looked into new legislation to better regulate sales of copper and other scrap metal, but very little of such legislation has been approved thus far.

For more:
- read this story on the I-5 fiasco at The Columbian