Broadcasters and authorities in Eugene, Ore., met this week to talk about the growing problem of metal theft there.
“Non-ferrous metal theft in Eugene has gotten worse over the last year,” Cumulus engineer Tom Woods told RW Online. Several stations have lost metal from transmitter sites.
“Broadcasters reporting thefts are KPNW, KLSR, KDUK and us,” he said. “Our loss was small. The thieves broke through our tower fence and made off with a piece of 3-1/8-inch oxidized outer conductor. Others have not been so fortunate. KPNW for instance had their entire AM above-ground counterpoise cut up and taken away.”
Woods said meetings at the local SBE chapter have proven effective in helping to deal with the copper theft in our area.
“We’ve raised awareness with the Lane County Sheriff’s Office and they have assigned an investigator to reported non-ferrous metal thefts. Yesterday’s meeting had representatives from LCSO and Schnitzer Steel on hand to discuss action steps to catch thieves.”
He also described a specific step that the engineers and authorities are taking in Eugene.
“We prepared a plywood panel of different feed-line samples that will hang on a wall at Schnitzer Steel. The recyclers will use the board of samples to match up similar types of recyclables. If there is a match, then Schnitzer’s will start calling numbers from a list of broadcast engineers who can help determine it the recycled metal was previously stolen.
”Also, Schnitzer’s has agreed to start asking for business cards from recyclers to determine if they are in fact legitimate owners of any recyclable metal that resembles anything that we as broadcasters use.”
Broadcasters were asked by the sheriff’s office to improve lighting and check locks at sites.