Copper thieves target EV charging cables in the Twin Cities - CBS Minnesota

January 28, 2024 / 10:16 PM CST / CBS Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS — The city of Minneapolis says 2023 was the most challenging year when it comes to wire thefts.  Fastest Charging Electric Car

Copper thieves target EV charging cables in the Twin Cities - CBS Minnesota

The city has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace streetlights after the copper wiring was stolen. Now thieves have another target. They're cutting cables at EV Spot Network charging stations. 

It's a trend that's being seen across Minneapolis and St. Paul. Some locations have been targeted more than once, making it a costly crime. Minneapolis's Public Works Department says there's not that much copper inside the charging cables for thieves to steal since the cable has other materials and insulation. 

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In a recent Facebook post from Minneapolis police, authorities said a pound of copper is only worth a couple dollars. Meanwhile, the cost to replace the charging cable and damage costs the city thousands. 

In Minneapolis, the city has replaced at least 44 charging cables and still had a list of more than 20 to go, as of last week. Joe Laurin with Minneapolis Public Works, said it's tough to keep up. 

"It's frustrating for everybody," he said.

HOURCAR, which operates the Evie car sharing program across the Twin Cities, said some drivers are getting frustrated looking for a working charger. 

"There are also other challenges with getting materials in a timely manner, weather conditions and things like that, so it's not always possible to replace these cables within the week they're stolen," Laurin said.

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In an effort to deter thieves, the city is adding cameras, signage and making sure recycling centers are on the lookout for stolen copper. 

"It being a nationwide issue, there has not been a single solution that has been effective 100%.  So we're still trying to look at multiple factors to see if together they can overall make a larger impact," he said.

St. Paul is also seeing cord cutting at EV charging stations. Anyone who sees someone tampering with a charging station or light pole is urged to call police. 

Kirsten Mitchell joined the WCCO team as a reporter in November of 2021. A Saint Paul native, Kirsten is proud to tell stories in her home state. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (Go Gophs!) and interned at WCCO during her time there.

First published on January 28, 2024 / 10:16 PM CST

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Copper thieves target EV charging cables in the Twin Cities - CBS Minnesota

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