Melting Pot

Nov 24, 2010 | 08:54 AM |

Green light

Potential thieves beware. A company that developed a device aimed at deterring and reducing infrastructure copper theft has been given the green light on a patent for a vandal-resistant pull-box insert. McCain Inc., a Vista, Calif.-based manufacturer of traffic equipment and other products, has won a patent for the device, whose design prohibits unauthorized access to the electrical control boxes for traffic signals, street lighting and emergency communications systems. Such units are found everywhere on public rights-of-way, giving thieves relatively easy access to the wiring within. An unclassified September 2008 report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) states that copper thieves "are threatening U.S. critical infrastructure," disrupting "the flow of electricity, telecommunications, transportation, and security and emergency services," and present "a....

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