The Brandenburg Police report they have caught three men and a woman suspected of stealing copper from windmills in the Havelland near Berlin in Germany. 10 to 14 tons of copper wire were stripped out of 21 windmills by the thieves. The windmill operator is estimated to have suffered around 225 000€ ($270,000) of damages from the copper which brought the thieves somewhere between 28 - 49 000€. A waste metal dealer who stood to profit by reselling the copper on the open market at about 100 000€ value will also face charges in the case. What were these guys thinking targeting a sector so beneficial to society? Where are their scruples?The thieves broke into the windmills and turned the power off, before climbing 25 to 30 meters up to cut the copper out. The thieves either ignored or were ignorant of the potential for fatal electrical shock which remains even after the primary power is cut to the windmills. After catching two men red-handed, over 70 officials were involved in a raid on houses, garages and barns in the area to collect evidence and identify the rest of the band of law breakers. In a land with strong social support structures, few will find any easy excuse acceptable for the crime.
Windfarm operators say that security on the windmills will be upgraded. It was not foreseen that someone would attempt so heinous and dangerous a crime, so the normal locking systems were considered sufficient. Now doors and locks will be reinforced, even motion detectors may be installed. What next: TreeHugger needs to write a guide to greening illegal activities?
Via: Der Tagesspiegel and Brandenburg Police report (German only)