The price of scrap metals has declined substantially, but apparently not enough to deter the thieves who recently made off with the electrical copper wire in a Windsor soccer park.
The brazen theft of 2,600 feet -- roughly one half-mile of copper wire -- left two soccer fields and the parking lot at Wilson Ranch Park in the dark for three weeks before Windsor officials could repair the damage.
It also knocked out the irrigation system.
The total cost to fix it and to install locks to avoid a repeat of the theft came to $11,000.
Apparently working under cover of darkness, the thieves removed the concrete covers of "pull boxes" to gain access to the underground wiring, cut it into segments and ripped it out.
"They hook it to a car and pull it out that way, or they can attach it to the bumper of a truck," said Jim O'Brien, Windsor's park and facilities maintenance supervisor.
The perpetrators likely used insulated cutters.
"Several of the wires they cut were energized. I'm assuming, since there were no dead bodies, they had some way of insulating themselves," he said.
The 10-acre soccer park is in a semi-industrial area. "There are not a lot of eyes on it. It makes it all the more attractive for something like this happening," O'Brien said.
Windsor Police Chief Steve Freitas said there are no leads in the theft, which took place Oct. 10 and was discovered the following day.