A crime victim writes:
Enticed by the steadily rising price of precious metals, criminals have discovered a destructive and environmentally devastating manner to steal from their communities and bring heartache and havoc to its citizens. Copper thefts have been on the rise, and increased patrols in previously targeted industrial, commercial, and construction zones have forced thieves to find new sources of copper to sell for cash.(via Yourshlub)
Our Lakewood home was the target of one such copper theft. At approximately 10:00 pm on Saturday night, Lakewood's own copper criminals struck our quiet Belmar neighborhood.
One or more cavalier criminals trespassed on our property, vandalized our exterior and literally ripped the copper piping and automatic sprinkler mechanism from our exterior wall, while my son slept and my husband and I watched re-runs inside. . . .
With great frustration, we paid the plumber, sprinkler repairman, and the hardware store, knowing that the time and money we spent on repairing the damage far exceeded the dollar amount the perpetrators received when they sold the copper pipes and sprinkler valves to the scrap yard.
But the greatest heartache came when I called the water company two days later. In just under 8 hours, almost 10,000 gallons had gushed from our home and ran down the street before we discovered the damage and shut off the water.
Our family strives to respect Mother Earth and reduce our Carbon Footprint so our son has a healthy, safe world to grow up in. We refuse to buy bottle water or accept plastic shopping bags. We adhere to watering restrictions on the lawn we were required by our developers to install, and we grow many of our own vegetables and herbs. We recycle. We compost. We turn off the water when brushing our teeth, don't pre-rinse our dishes and run the dishwasher only when it is overflowing. Our front loading washer runs on an eco-cycle water level, and we wash all of our clothes in cold water. We work very hard to generate as little waste as possible.
I was born in the desert of Arizona, and my family lives in a high altitude desert where water is precious. The image of thousands of gallons of water running down the asphalt brings eco-tears to my eyes.