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The Red Gold Rush Continues

Oct 06, 2011

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A disturbing article was published in the Arizona Republic last week about the alarming costs to taxpayers copper theft is causing. Bryce Fastener Inc has a part in providing the City of Mesa one piece of the large puzzle involved in solving this problem. At times we have beaten our heads against the wall when what we thought was a good solution became defeated. I don’t think anyone was prepared for the extreme measures and risks thieves are taking to retrieve the wire, not to mention the sophisticated machinery their using. The city first installed our Penta Nuts in the lids but thieves took a sledgehammer to the box and although the Penta Nut remained, the wire was stolen. Next, the City resorted to using steel lids with our Penta Nut securing them. We assumed there would be no way to break the lid or defeat the nut. It came as a surprise when we found out thieves used a backhoe to dig up the 200lb utility box out of the ground to retrieve the wire. While our nuts are still part of the puzzle for round three; cementing down the utility box, we are anxiously awaiting for the crooks next move. We sincerely hope for the taxpayer's sake, an end to the Red Gold Rush crisis is in sight.

Here’s the link to the article: http://archive.azcentral.com/community/gilbert/articles/2011/09/27/20110927southeast-valley-copper-thefts-chronic-problem.html

“Craig Blum, Mesa’s field operations superintendent in the city Transportation Department, said crews installed reinforced steel covers to protect utility boxes and keep thieves out. When that didn't solve the problem, crews invented a nut that can only be unscrewed with a special wrench.

Even the nut proved fruitless when thieves pried the utility boxes out of the ground and stole the wiring anyway.” Jim Walsh, Arizona Republic

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