California Desert Hot Springs, 23, 2008. —
Solar energy, with its emission commitment-
Free renewable energy, with more and more fans.
It turns out that some of them are thieves.
Ask Glenda Hoffman, whose anger has not diminished since 16 solar panels disappeared from her roof in the sun. -
In May, there were three separate burglaries, sometimes while she was sleeping.
If the criminals reappear, she's ready.
"I have a shotgun and a shotgun by my bed.
Under my pillow, "Madam. Hoffman said.
The largest solar market, with more than 33,000 units installed-
Although no comprehensive statistical data have been compiled, there are still a large number of such thefts.
Investigators do not believe that thieves are acting out of concern for their carbon footprint.
On the contrary, the authorities believe that many groups do not know the owner's way, sometimes through the Internet.
Last November, an attempt was made to sell solar panels stolen from Newport Beach Toll Road on eBay for $100.
According to the sergeant, detectives from the local police department participated in the bidding and won nearly $1500 each panel.
Newport Beach Police spokesman Evan Seller.
Advertising: When Nathan Tyrone Mitchell, a resident of Santa Monica, appeared and handed over the panel, the police greeted him in handcuffs. Mr.
Mitchell was accused of possessing stolen property and pleaded not guilty.
Charles Stoddard, his lawyer, said that his clients bought the panels from someone on Craigslist and then tried to resell them on eBay to make a profit.
Our argument is.
Mitchell was just an innocent buyer and was involved in it. Stoddard said.
In Contacosta County, police accustomed to dealing with copper theft are beginning to notice that solar panels have disappeared in the past six months, said Jimmy Lee, spokesman for the county sheriff's office.
This summer, a patrolman questioned the discovery of a man trying to sell solar panels to a house builder who advertised in Craigslist that he was looking for solar panels.
Police confiscated the panels and a Californian man was charged after detectives found that they matched the panels stolen from school. Mr.
Li said law enforcement agencies were investigating about half of the cases. -
Hit Other Solar Energy-
The group in his area was stolen.
"We were surprised, a little unexpected," he said.
Li, he advises people to engrave their driver's license numbers on their panels for better identification.
For Tom McCarmont, president of Regrid Power, a solar installation company near San Jose, the problem reappeared in late June.
His own headquarters was attacked by thieves who took more than $30,000 worth of panels from the roof.
He said the removal of solar panels was very skilled, which made him suspect that it was done by people in the solar industry.
He urged customers to install cameras and alarms for their solar panels, and compared his own modified security system to Fort Knox.
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"This is a future crime," he said. McCalmont said.
After suffering from solar theft, some victims have found unusual ways to protect their property. Ms.
Hoffman, from Desert Hot Springs, spent weeks sleepless in a series of burglaries on her roof.
One night, she waited by a nearby building, looked at her house, tried to catch the thief, and caused a suspicious neighbor to call the police.
She swears that if she catches the criminals, "they will not leave the place where they walk".
Especially when she feels threatened.
So far, as the loss is still small, the homeowner's insurance is dealing with claims, with little resistance. Ms.
Hoffman's insurance company, State Farm, is paying $95,000 to replace her entire system.
She plans to install an alarm and possibly a camera. Not far from the lady.
In Hoffman, Palm Desert Town, Jim and Shaina Powell stole 19 of their solar panels in June, causing their electricity bills to soar from $3 to $300, when they needed air. -
The most conditioning.
"People steal panels at any time of the year," he said.
Powell said gloomily.
Outside California, solar energy-
The electricity market is relatively small, so theft is still rare. -
But they are spreading.
Over the past 18 months, Oregon's highway department has lost some panels to power portable traffic information boards.
According to Melissa Roeike, who coordinates the Minnesota Water Quality Monitoring Project, in the past few years at least eight small watersheds, each worth $250, have been lost in the Sooke River Basin area.
In response, the area has taken measures to protect the panels, including putting them on trees and poles.
The thieves quickly stole one of these panels.
"Obviously, it's not feasible to hang 20 feet in the air with a metal tube," she said. Roelike said.
In Europe, the solar industry there is very good. -
Once established, theft will be entrenched, and preventive measures have become the standard, including alarm systems and hardware. -to-unscrew panels.
But in the United States, installers are tackling the need for alarms, cameras and indelible serial number engraving.
Some people like simpler solutions. Ken Martin Jr.
Fifty-eight panels that fall off half of the roof will cost $75,000 to replace this spring. -
An empty office building in San Rosa, California. , that he owns.
He is considering painting some of his remaining panels. -
Bright pink paint.
He said, "At least if someone sees them and they are painted, they will know it's my color. "
A version of this article appears on page 21 of the New York edition, with the title: Solar panels are disappearing and are only reappearing on the Internet.
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