This week’s story takes place in the town Colton, in San Bernardino County, California. It’s a medium sized town with a population approaching 50,000. Incidentally, Colton is California’s favorite nudist resort — although that has absolutely nothing to do with this story.
In the pre-dawn hours of April 29th, Colton Town Police notice that traffic lights, street lights and business store lights were all out. Then a call comes into police headquarters saying there’s a dead body behind one of Colton’s business buildings.
Sergeant Alan Koahou decides to check out that tip, according to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. What the sergeant finds behind one of Colton’s businesses is a dead man.
The corpse is lying next to an electrical transformer. There’s no identification on the man’s still smoking body, but Colton police are pretty sure the guy was trying to steal copper from the electrical box. Apparently the guy touched the wrong component and was electrocuted.
Copper theft has been sweeping the country for more than a year because of the high cost of copper. But what the metal thieves know is, the price of copper on the underground market has been falling.
The reason copper prices are falling is the glut on that particular market. There are so many copper thieves working overtime that buyers of stolen metals have a super-abundance of material to dispose of.
The thieves don’t seem to understand that the stolen metals market works the same as legitimate markets of any type — when there’s an oversupply of a product, the demand is less and the sales potential takes a nose dive!
The guy who got fried April 29th in Colton apparently did not consider that fact, otherwise he’d still be reading the business pages of his daily newspaper.
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