Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Ray of Sunshine and The Copper Bandits

I usually tell all on this blog but once in awhile I have something I just don't want to share.  Before we went on our trip to Jalisco we visited our land south of here in Allende.  We had had a 40ft travel trailer out there that I was in love with.  It was a huge two bedroom with two slideouts.  It was all set up and we were going out there on occasion dreaming about the day we would build our new house.  The plan was to live in the rv while the house was being built.   Then the Mexico problem came along and we couldn't sell the house as planned and sold the 40ft rv.   It was a pain in the neck anyway as someone broke into the trailer once, fixed that and then they stole everything off the outside that wasn't nailed down.   It was a good idea though at the time.

So we drove down there in June and looked around.  We discovered that someone cut the electric at the box and at the other end where we had the rv outlet or 30 amp set up and pulled the copper cable out.  We're talking about 80 meters of copper cable.  We looked into the conduit and it was gone.   That was it, I was a broken man.  What next?  Would they steal the chain link fence too?

I blew it off and thought to myself that we still have the land and the cable could always be replaced.   We went on our summer excursion and had a ball and forgot all about it.  (I still curse the lousy bastards).  

Over this last weekend we went out to see what was going on and our neighbor was there.  He has about an acre and a half next to us with a beautiful palapa and a pool.   This is a photo of my neighbor's place a couple of years ago when it was under construction. 

We chatted with him for a while and told him what happened.   He said we should have put cable rudo in the ground and buried it deep (don't know the term in English but cable rude is a cable that doesn't require conduit and last forever).  The other option was to install all aluminum which is the new answer for the copper bandits.  We talked some more and then we headed home.

Today I got a call on my cell phone from my neighbor in Allende.  He said he had some very good news for me.  He happened to talk to our other neighbor in front who is a contractor and did the electric installation.   He said that the cable was never stolen and he showed him.  The contractor put the cable in the conduit and installed safety features every three meters that would not allow anyone to pull the cable out.  What we had seen at the rv post was the three meters they had removed.  Ta Daa!

As a side note, when we built our house in the city, the same thing happened but we arrived before they could make the get away.   We had to have the house, all 3000 sq ft. recabled.  They had even disassembled all the sliding doors to remove the aluminum.  Gotta have lots of security these days.

I now have renewed hope and a plan to start working in Allende to get things ready for construction.   We're not waiting and letting bad people keep us from doing what we want.


  1. He was referring to armored cable which we call by it's brand name up here in Canada which I cannot remember right now (I have been retired for 11 years)! That may have solved your problem but it looks like you came out OK anyway. Keep your chins up guys, it could be a lot worse and we will see you in a short time! Put some gin on ice!

  2. There are two cables, the Armored that Croft mentioned which was developed for gopher & squirrel (ground rodents) control & buried with a harder plastic/rubber waterproof covering (sometime gel filled). Using the buried is enough ! Aluminum is NOT good to use as the current loss and heat build up is much much greater than Copper. Many if not most areas of the USA will not let you use Aluminum for electrical any longer per building codes.

    rocmoc n AZ

  3. I applaud your positive attitude and kudos to the contractor that got it right at the beginning. I think he deserves a few cervezas! Here in Canada the cooper wire is constantly being stolen.

  4. "Teck cable" is the product I was trying to remember. We ran it underground to wire the workshop and RV hookup. When we had a backhoe in doing some drainage work in the yard I had to get an old workmate in to locate the cable so the backhoe could avoid it.