Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: JamesT4, metraRI

  by justalurker66
Two related stories in the news over the past two days:

New Chicago man arrested; officer sees scrap yard theft
BURNHAM, Ill. | A New Chicago man was arrested Wednesday after a NICTD officer watched him and a juvenile steal scrap from a train yard, officials said.

An officer with the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District saw Michael Mitol taking scrap metal from trains inside a South Shore Freight Railroad yard at 8:46 a.m Wednesday, according to a news release.

Read more: http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/illi ... z1Yp6VL7G3

Two nabbed, one at large after NICTD metal thefts
GARY | Two stepbrothers have been charged with the theft of 8,000 pounds of tie plates and rail connectors from a Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District material yard, and a third brother is being sought.

Jimmie Lee Taylor, 44, [address omitted], and Larry Thomas, [address omitted], both of Gary, have been charged with theft by the Lake County Prosecutor's Office, while an arrest warrant has been issued for Russell Thomas, 51, [address omitted], Gary.
. . .
The thefts had basically emptied the yard of the ties and connectors, which are needed for regular maintenance and repairs of South Shore tracks, Byrd said

Read more: http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake ... z1Yp6nznl4

It is good to see some victories in the war on crime.
  by eaglestar
Hmmm. Looks like scrap metal is becoming more and more valuable these days. Just kidding (somewhat) but seriously, it seems as if people are doing odd things these days to get a buck or two. Just last week in my town, someone was arrested (supposedly) for filling up his mug full of Powerade in the high school cafeteria.
  by justalurker66
Most of the time people stealing to sell as scrap do more damage than the value of the scrap ... a few dollars for them at a scrap yard that should ask more questions turns out to be hundreds of dollars in replacement cost. This is why what seems like a "small crime" of stealing a few dollars worth of "scrap" turns into a big problem for the people the items are stolen from.
  by Tadman
This is very true and has affected railroads and museums. Scrappers illegally take copper wiring, getting $300 of copper but carelessly de-wiring a railroad car or signal box that costs $10,000 to re-wire. I think I recall recently hearing of a PV that had to be scrapped because illegal scrappers stole so much under-car mechanical bits for scrap money that the car wasn't worth restoring.... Sad to see.

This also affected me once at work. A crew under my authority was looking for a 55gal drum full of anchor bolts (similar to railroad spikes). The barrel was lifted by a scrapper. He probably got $100 for it, while I had a gang of men sitting around for a few days awaiting new material. That cost me way more than the $100 scrap value of the bolts.
Everyone: I will add that not only can stealing recyclable metal or wire from a railroad is not only illegal
but in the case of live power lines it can get you killed!

I will never forget a picture I saw many years ago of a wire thief that tried to cut down what turned out to be
live wires in which when the thief attempted to cut the line he was killed instantly and had at least one limb
blown off-I believe it was an 11KV catenary line...that kind of theft is not worth losing your life over!

  by Tadman
That's why IRM leaves their catenary energized 24/7/365. It's a lot less tempting to borrow copper wire that has 600vDC going through it.
  by ExCon90
I hope their insurance indemnifies them against lawsuits from the estates of electrocuted thieves; do they have signs on the property informing trespassers of the danger involved in stealing energized wire? Can't be too careful these days.