Copper Thieves Strike Las Vegas TV Station

With the price of copper steadily rising, thieves have been targeting unattended AM radio transmitter sites for some time now. Just this week, however, Las Vegas, Nev. television station KVBC found itself the victim of such thievery.

The station reported that shortly before the 6 p.m. Sunday newscast, someone entered station property and cut audio cables that had been routed outside KVBC's building during their HD transition.

A wave of copper thefts had been previously reported in the Las Vegas area. Reports indicate that neighborhoods have been blacked out by cuts to power lines; traffic surveillance cameras have gone dark due to pilfered coax, and in one case, a regional food bank lost three out of its four outside refrigeration units as the result of copper thievery.

Scrap copper is now selling at $2 or more per pound, emboldening thieves and causing them to strike with increasing frequency. During the past year, several states have reported electrocutions of would-be copper thieves as they attacked energized power lines and electrical substations.