Auburn goes to college to solve copper theft problemon October 26, 2012 @ 5:40 am (Updated: 6:46 am - 10/26/12 )
Thieves have been targeting the junction boxes in Auburn. They pop them open quickly, cut the wires at each end and pull hundreds of feet of copper wire at a time in just a few seconds.
The city can't afford to keep making repairs and replacing wire so it's now welding the boxes shut. Public works director Dennis Dowdy said he's turned to Green River Community College for the labor. Students from its welding program are doing the work.
"This is really just a kind of out of the box thing that we felt like we had to find a solution," Dowdy said. "It's really good training for them, and it really saves us a huge amount of money."
The students have welded more than 1,000 of the boxes shut so far. They have about 3,000 more to go.
The work should be done in a few weeks.
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