• Sick of hearing about the housing market? Ok, here’s an unusual condo story:

    Almost four miles of copper wire disappeared from Orlando construction sites this week including 101 Eola condos and the Dynetech Center condos downtown.

    Apparently, international shortages have driven the price of copper above $3 a pound at scrap metal dealers. Who knew?

    Last Friday afternoon, the last workers to leave 101 S. Eola St. locked up as usual, but at 8 a.m. Monday, an electric crew wiring the building discovered 20,000 feet of heavy-gauge copper wire had been stolen from a locked storage room.

    The forty missing spools of wire are thought to exceed 800 pounds and total more than$5,000 according to electrical supply houses in Orlando.

    Less than an hour later, a Modern Plumbing Industries crew on the fourth floor found that 170 feet of copper pipe had disappeared.

    “This was done by people who knew what they were looking for. And they sure didn’t carry that down 29 floors,” Jerry Ball said Thursday afternoon, who had 1,200 pounds of inch-thick copper welding cable stolen from the Dyntech Center on East Washington Street.

    The consensus seems to be that laborers and tradesmen familiar with the job sites are responsible for many of thefts since the thieves clearly knew how to use the Dyntech Center’s construction elevator to escape.

    Apparently, thefts are so common that some counties actually allow builders to wait for a certificate of occupancy before installing appliances.

    Reports show that last month, thieves carried away about 100,000 feet (that’s ninteen miles) of wire and heavy cable from two construction trailers on Orlando Tower Road .

    Anyone thought of on-site security?

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