HomeMakeTesla Thieves Steal Charging Cables from Tesla Supercharger in Vallejo

    [Video] Thieves Steal Charging Cables from Tesla Supercharger in Vallejo

    Tesla drivers in Vallejo, California, faced an unpleasant surprise this past weekend when vandals targeted a local Supercharger station, slashing and stealing cables in a brazen act of theft. The incident, which took place at 904 Admiral Callaghan Lane next to Target, was captured in a viral TikTok video that has already garnered nearly 900,000 views.

    This alarming trend of copper theft is not isolated to Vallejo, with similar incidents reported across the nation, including recent attacks in Houston, Texas. As Tesla service crews worked swiftly to restore the vandalized stations, questions about security and preventive measures loom large. Read this post till the end to learn everything about the incident.

    Thieves Steal Cables from Tesla Supercharger

    Vandals Target Vallejo Tesla Supercharger Station

    Tesla drivers in Vallejo were left stranded after thieves severed the charging cables at the city’s Supercharger station located near Target on Sunday. A viral TikTok video shared online shows the aftermath of the incident, with all 9 chargers missing their cables. According to the video posted by TikTok user Joshua Beckler, the theft occurred sometime overnight Saturday.

    Beckler and his wife discovered the damaged chargers early Sunday morning when they went to charge their Tesla before going to the gym. “They left 5 charging stations working, but had cut the cables from around 20 of them. The cables are heavy with the nozzles, so it seems this is all they could take in one go,” Beckler noted in his video.

    The valuable copper wiring contained in the Tesla charging cables is the clear target of such thefts. Copper prices have risen significantly worldwide, with the metal averaging around $3 per pound according to recent scrap rates.

    As copper demand grows along with global infrastructure development, thefts of wiring have become a “$1 billion problem annually” across the US. For thieves, it’s a quick money grab that significantly impacts charger availability until costly repairs are made.

    Copper Theft on the Rise as Scrap Rates Climb

    Unfortunately, the Vallejo charging station theft is part of a disturbing trend seen nationwide. According to an FBI report, copper theft from electric utilities and transportation sites costs an estimated $1 billion each year. With copper prices hitting 10-year highs in early 2023 amid strong demand, such crimes have only increased.

    Just last week in Houston, over 80% of the chargers at one Tesla station had their cables cut and removed. Multiple other targeting incidents have been reported from West Texas through the San Francisco Bay Area. Even residential neighborhoods have seen a spike in thefts, with copper piping and outside AC units targeted for their valuable metal.

    Thieves Steal Charging Cables from Tesla Supercharger

    As worldwide copper consumption continues to grow 7-10% annually to support infrastructure projects and renewable energy development, scrap rates for the metal will likely remain elevated. If not addressed, this creates an “open season” for opportunistic thieves seeking quick cash. Stations may install security measures like lights and cameras to deter future damage.

    Until prices come down, these vulnerable public assets require around-the-clock protection.

    Tesla Works to Restore Vallejo Charging as Police Investigate Theft

    In Vallejo, Tesla was able to get crews out quickly on Monday to repair the Supercharger station damages. By late afternoon, all 9 chargers had been restored with new cables installed. Police are investigating the theft, but no arrests have been made at this time.

    Drivers were relieved to see the station back online, though the temporary outage left some in a bind. Local resident John Davis told reporters, “I was going to need to charge soon, so I’m glad I didn’t get stuck without power.” As Tesla’s network expands, protecting these public assets becomes increasingly important.

    Strategies that enhance security while vehicles are charging may help prevent these damaging cable thefts going forward. In summary, the rising value of copper combined with inadequate station security has made EV chargers an enticing target.

    Thieves Steal Charging Cables from Tesla Supercharger in Vallejo

    More must be done by manufacturers and police to safeguard critical infrastructure and the drivers who depend on it. Stricter penalties for such theft and vandalism crimes could also act as a deterrent to would-be criminals.

    Security Concerns: Calls for Enhanced Measures at Charging Stations

    The incident has raised concerns about security at public charging spots. Nearly 900,000 people watched the viral TikTok video of the damaged Supercharger location. Many left comments asking for better security like cameras and lighting. Resident John Brown said this was the third time cables were cut at the same location.

    He felt gates or cameras were needed to prevent future damage. Local police are investigating ways to increase monitoring at vulnerable spots. They are also reviewing footage from nearby businesses for clues in this case.

    Previous Incidents: Houston Supercharger Stations Also Targeted

    This was not an isolated event according to reports. Over a week before in Houston, 18 out of 19 stations at a Supercharger location saw their cables stolen. Another five separate Tesla sites in the city were targeted within days.

    Replacing all the cables in Houston likely cost over $100,000. In Minnesota earlier this year, thieves struck multiple public charging points. With growing EV adoption, criminal attacks have followed the expanding infrastructure nationally.

    Final Words

    As EV driving rises so does the need for reliable public charging. Unfortunately, criminals exploit this need for their financial gain. Stakeholders must work with law enforcement to implement strategies that balance access with adequate protection. Until then some drivers may need to find alternative charging solutions following cable thefts like what occurred in Vallejo.

    Los Angeles and San Diego have already installed new security systems for their public chargers. Motion sensor lights and security cameras link directly to staffed monitoring centers. As more stations are deployed across Vallejo, residents want officials to learn from such examples. Only with protected infrastructure can the city truly welcome electric vehicle owners.

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