Weird News Alert: Who is Stealing Baltimore's Light Poles?

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posted on Dec, 1 2005 @ 04:34 PM
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Hal9000 I'm not even near baltimore, and i have something called morals


Turbokid, very interesting theory which I will take to the next level. Maybe the street crew guys or the local politicans are running a scam. They take the poles down, claim they were stolen and need to be replaced. They get the funds for new poles which they just pocket and then put the same old poles back up and claim they are the new ones they had to buy as replacements




posted on Dec, 1 2005 @ 06:20 PM
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Originally posted by TheShroudOfMemphis

Any new estates being built in a neighbouring town?

This sounds like something Shelbyville would do!





Wait! I'll ask Bart and Homer, and Mayor Quinbe.



posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 07:57 PM
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Very, very weird. I live in Salisbury Md. and you think there would have been something on the local news, not. Any way I live in a rural area (lots of farms) now that it is winter and hunting season maybe the farmers figured out a new way to jack deer...



posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 09:45 PM
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Originally posted by turbokid
So maybe the city is actually taking down its own poles and claiming they were stolen, so they can install new ones and keep their cushy budget.. ???



Originally posted by warpboost
Turbokid, very interesting theory which I will take to the next level. Maybe the street crew guys or the local politicans are running a scam. They take the poles down, claim they were stolen and need to be replaced. They get the funds for new poles which they just pocket and then put the same old poles back up and claim they are the new ones they had to buy as replacements


Oooh...city corruption. I like this theory. I think your right about losing budget money if they don't use it, but I'm sure they could find an easier way to spend it. As far as putting the poles back up, the pictures I saw showed some of them sheared off at the base, so they probably could not be used again.

So let me ask this. If you worked for the city, and someone told you to take down perfectly good streetlights, and maybe later put them back up, and after seeing on the news they claimed they were stolen, don't you think someone would say something? I think it would be too risky, and there are much easier and more lucrative ways to pocket city money.



Originally posted by 1jaguar
maybe the farmers figured out a new way to jack deer...

I don't know what that means, but it doesn't sound too pleasant for the deer.



posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 11:45 PM
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Hal, jacking deer is when a bright spotlight is used to make the deer freeze so it can easily be shot. Deer freeze up in bright light at night like in a cars headlights. It is illegal and considered poaching AFAIK



posted on Dec, 3 2005 @ 01:10 AM
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Well back to my original theory, here is an astronomer who obviously doesn’t like streetlights. Not that I think he had anything to do with the missing streetlights in Baltimore.

external image



Wasted light from North America's cities
As one can see, ba lighting habits have spread light pollution to virtually every corner of US, even to the "dark skies" in the SW USA, place of Americas main Northern Hemisphere inland astronomical observatories.




Faint stars disappear, only the Moon and the brightest planets stars remain visible. If the night is cloudy, the light pollution effects are striking. The clouds are red and bright and one could read the newspaper at the light reflected by the clouds. So much amount is uselessly pumped toward the skies that the reflected light is enough for a decent illumination. The waste is enormous. At a fraction of the cost, we could have good design lamps with lower power which can provide the same illumination.


www.pha.jhu.edu...



posted on Dec, 3 2005 @ 01:45 AM
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Here are my three theories....

They are being removed by a company who hopes to have a contract to replace them...

A builder has taken them to cut cost in a construction project elsewhere...

A skilled group of disgruntled former employees trying to get even with their employer associated with the installation of these lights...



posted on Dec, 3 2005 @ 06:59 AM
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well hear is my idea

comming from the veiw point of a 19 year old,

i would say it is some kids, 15- 25 having fun stealing street poles.

dont ask me why, probly the same reason my mates had a joy ride in a bulldozer last year,

or why on the last night of school i took some barrier rails.

any way if they are aluminium an angle grinder will take them down.

or if they are bolted to the concreat it is a simple matter of undoing the bolts and easing it down.

so that my theory. 3 or 4 guys having a laugh stealling street poles



posted on Dec, 3 2005 @ 12:33 PM
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Originally posted by loam
They are being removed by a company who hopes to have a contract to replace them...

If you mean the manufacturer of the lights, then this would occur in other cities because I'm sure they would sell all over the country.

If you mean a contractor to re-install them, that would probably be the electric company, and I think they make more money on the electricity being used than the lights themselves. Fewer streetlights would use less electricity.



A builder has taken them to cut cost in a construction project elsewhere...

I doubt these lights can be re-used. From the pictures I saw, it looked like they were sheared off at the base, and wires cut.



A skilled group of disgruntled former employees trying to get even with their employer associated with the installation of these lights...

This theory sounds like it makes the most sense. These guys know what their doing, and I don't think money is the motivator here. I think someone is trying to send a message.


Originally posted by tiddly54
i would say it is some kids, 15- 25 having fun stealing street poles.

[trimmed quote]

so that my theory. 3 or 4 guys having a laugh stealling street poles

I could see that for a few streetlights maybe, but not 130. I would expect these guys would dump them somewhere nearby. This job requires a crane and large truck to haul these poles away. But thanks, for replying.



posted on Dec, 3 2005 @ 12:38 PM
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Originally posted by loam
They are being removed by a company who hopes to have a contract to replace them...


You know, that could be it. About 6 years ago in my parents' neighborhood someone went around and stole lights out of peoples' yards. The majority of them were those lights that sit on a black pole and have the opaque white ball covering the light on the top. About two weeks later after the entire neighborhood had their lights stolen fliers began to appear in doors and on car windsheilds for a company who would install the exact same lights for peoples' yards.



posted on Dec, 3 2005 @ 12:48 PM
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This article blames the Chinese!




How hot are metals? Thieves are stealing lamp posts

Washington — It's the caper that has baffled Baltimore. Someone has stolen 130 hulking aluminum light poles in broad daylight — each weighing about 115 kilograms, measuring nine metres tall and stuffed with live electrical wires.

The real mystery isn't who did it. It's why it took so long for one of the fastest-growing crime schemes on the planet to reach Baltimore.

Thanks in large part to China's voracious appetite for resources, the soaring prices of nearly all base metals — aluminum, copper and even steel — have unleashed what can only be described as a scrap metal theft pandemic.

That's why Belgium's main railway station recently lost 770 of its 800 luggage carts and police in the Montreal suburb of Pointe Claire are still hunting for the thieves who made off with 30 manhole covers last spring.

Prices for aluminum and copper have more than doubled in the past couple of years, and are now setting near-daily record highs. Prices in the $85-billion (U.S.) global scrap metal trade are up even more, tripling since 2003.

And the scrap metal crime spree has tracked that upward trajectory every step of the way.

Lamp posts and manhole covers aren't even the most unusual items to go missing — 400 parking meters have been yanked from roadsides in Pittsburgh. Thieves are making off with just about everything they can lay their hands on — copper wiring from homes, aluminum siding, phone booths, fire extinguishers, traffic lights, street signs, ladders and even the kitchen sink.

“Baltimore has a lot of crime problems, but this is the strangest one of all,” admitted Chip Franklin, a radio talk show host at WBAL in that city. “Baltimore is a great city and we have great criminals too.”

That the crime wave would hit Baltimore isn't all that surprising. The city has one of the largest ports on the U.S. East Coast, and much of the stolen scrap ends up in foreign countries — most notably China.

China's booming economy has triggered extraordinary demand for all types of raw materials, particularly those used to build infrastructure. China is now among the world's largest consumers of copper, steel and aluminum. This year, the country is expected to buy roughly a third of the world's steel and account for 80 per cent of the growth in demand.

Much, much more....



This is a fascinating read!



posted on Dec, 3 2005 @ 01:09 PM
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Wow, thanks for the article loam. This sounds like stealing items for scrap metal is an increasing widespread problem.



Last year, 24,000 manhole covers were pilfered in Beijing alone.

Holy crap, that's alot of manhole covers.

You would think, after a few thousand, they would weld chains to them or something to keep them from being stolen.

It's funny that it mentions Baltimore being a port. I guess they think the poles might have been taken to the harbor and put onto a ship. It gives new meaning to the phrase "exporting America".



posted on Dec, 3 2005 @ 01:13 PM
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Originally posted by Hal9000
You would think, after a few thousand, they would weld chains to them or something to keep them from being stolen.


Most manhole covers, at least in Detroit, are welded down with tack welds. They're fairly easy to break though.



posted on Dec, 3 2005 @ 01:33 PM
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Originally posted by cmdrkeenkid

Originally posted by Hal9000
You would think, after a few thousand, they would weld chains to them or something to keep them from being stolen.


Most manhole covers, at least in Detroit, are welded down with tack welds. They're fairly easy to break though.

I've heard of them doing that for events like presidential visits, but not to keep them from being stolen. I don't think chains would be much of a deterrent either. They can be cut pretty easily with bolt cutters.

Removing manhole covers in the middle of the road would be a serious hazard for cars. The article mentioned 8 people have died from falling into open manholes in Beijing. All for scrap metal that is only worth a few cents per pound. That's just crazy.



posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 03:11 PM
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That was a very interesting story about China. I never even gave a thought to them beng exported! To Hal9000- Glad someone explained "jacking deer" to you, the only thing that I hunt with is my camera. By the by, if you wanted to shoot deer just slow the bullet down to 45 mph, put some headlights on it and the deer will jump in front of it...



posted on Jun, 8 2006 @ 01:18 AM
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This is one of the weirdest thing's I have ever heard.
I'm down with the scrap aluminum theory.



posted on Jun, 14 2006 @ 01:25 AM
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doing the same thing here in NJ-- stealing the aluminum guardrails on the interstates dressed as workcrews. A little safer than the electrified light poles but don't bring as much in the market.



posted on Jun, 14 2006 @ 01:30 PM
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Over 130 poles, weighing 250 pounds each, have been stolen over the last eight weeks! No one has been caught, and no one knows who is doing this.

news.yahoo.com...&printer=1

I find it incredible that anyone would have the kahunas to pull this off. These guys are dressing up as city workers and even putting orange cones out to divert traffic. Can you imagine the cost of doing this? You would need a large truck for sure. And they're not being sold as scrap in any junkyards in the area.
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Hmm, is someone trying to make us live in a world of darkness? Aleins perhaps? Fed up of their veiw of a beutiful planet an night been spoiled by millions of pinpricks of light?? What would someone want with them anyway??





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