Brazen Thieves Strike Electric Vehicle Charging Station in Seattle

By Madz Dizon

Jun 13, 2024 06:50 AM EDT

Brazen Thieves Strike Electric Vehicle Charging Station in Seattle
A Volkswagen ID.4 electric vehicle (EV) charges via a CCS DC fast charger from Electrify America at a shopping mall parking lot in Torrance, California, on February 23, 2024.
(Photo : PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

A surge in copper cable thefts targets electric car charging stations in the US, disrupting access to essential infrastructure.

In the early hours of April 2024, during a chilly night in Seattle on the west coast of the United States, a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck pulled up at a public electric vehicle charging station located in the corner of a shopping center parking lot. 

Copper Cable Theft Spree Hits Electric Car Charging Stations

Out of nowhere, two individuals emerged from the pickup truck, each equipped with small flashlights fixed to their heads. A man was observed holding a pair of scissors. He forcefully yanked the electric car charging cable, causing it to sever. The person's partner proceeded to place the coiled cable into the storage compartment of their vehicle. 

The incident occurred in a very short span of time, approximately 2.5 minutes. Shortly after, they quickly left the area.

According to a recent report from the Associated Press news agency, this incident is part of a concerning trend of cable thefts that is currently widespread in the United States. 

A group of criminals set their sights on SPKLU and made off with the electricity charging cables, which happened to be made of copper fibers.

At present, there has been an increase in copper prices in the global market. This presents an opportunity for unscrupulous individuals to profit by seeking out and trading copper.

Electric vehicle charging stations are frequently rendered inoperable when their charging cables are stolen, leaving them unable to serve multiple vehicles. All of the cables have been stolen and removed by unknown individuals.

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Tesla Charging Stations Hit by Cable Thefts in Seattle, Oakland, Houston

Tesla's charging stations in Seattle, Oakland, as well as Houston have been affected. This year, Seattle police have documented seven instances of cable thefts from charging stations, which is the same number as the total for 2023. 

According to the Seattle police, there has been an increase in thefts at Tesla stations this year, with four incidents reported compared to only one last year, AP reported.

The company stated that law enforcement officials are currently investigating the thefts, as they work towards repairing the inoperable stations and exploring potential long-term solutions.

This issue extends beyond urban areas. In rural Sumner, Washington, south of Seattle, there have been incidents of cable cutting at a Puget Sound Energy charging station. 

The company is collaborating with law enforcement and the property owner to ensure the security of the station.

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