Copper wire thefts increase 139% in one California county

Copper wire thefts of all kinds appear to be increasing in 2023. Not just telecommunications copper cables, but also electric and transit cables.

San Joaquin County reported a 139% increase in copper wire thefts over four months, and one theft in the county left the 911 center unable to receive calls.

It's been happening here in Amador County as well mostly from yahoos from Stockton. They're taking out fiber too probably inadvertently.


In our neck of the woods, it's not uncommon for copper thieves to set fire to wires to see what's left. Often, it's a network outage, since they are unaware that the majority of wires lining manholes is not copper.