This one definitely ranks in the ‘how are they getting away with that?’ category of crime.
In Baltimore a gang are stealing the lamp-posts, most probably to sell them for scrap. These people clearly know what they’re doing, and they’re not totally irresponsible either:
Left behind are half-foot stubs of metal, with wires that carry 120 volts neatly tied and wrapped in black electric tape.
So they drive up, sometimes disguised in workmen outfits, chop down the 30 foot pole, and then carefully secure off the dangerous wires so no-one gets hurt. Odd.
They would be getting 35 cents for a pound of scrap aluminium, so probably make a few hundred out of the poles, which is pretty annoying for the city because they cost around $156,000 to replace. Ouch. There are probably a few taxpayers who would rather the thought of electrocution from unsealed wires than the $20,280,000 bill that currently stands to replace the ones that have been stolen, so perhaps the gang’s social conscience isn’t that strong. Currently the police have no idea who is doing it either, and I have images of Chief Wiggum in my head: ‘That’s good stealin’ boys.’
The gang is clearly very organised, but you can’t help but wonder what they might achieve if the same level of ingenuity were applied to a legitimate business. Alternatively they could take the crime to the next level and start sending ransom notes to the city demaning $100k in return for every lamp that they don’t steal. Now that’s thinking outside of the box.