Scumbags Steal Solar Panels From Fire Lookout Tower

Solar panel theft

Low-life, degenerate pus buckets have stolen solar panels that could help save lives from a site near Gympie in Queensland.

Mount Wolvi is situated around 27 kilometres east of Gympie. There’s a lot of bush about the place and helping to act as an early warning of bushfires is a fire lookout tower on the mountain. The tower uses solar panels to generate electricity for various purposes, including powering cameras that monitor the area.

According to Gympie Police, between 4pm on January 12 and 1.15pm on January 14 , parties unknown who could only be described as sociopaths forced entry into the fire tower and stole 4 – 6 solar panels. It’s not clear why a firm number isn’t known. Inexplicably, these muppets also stole the tower’s door.

“By stealing these panels, offender/s have put the area at risk, especially with the recent bush fire crisis we have just experienced and the potential for further fires,” said Senior Constable Deb Page.

Anyone with any information on the incident is urged to contact Policelink on 131 444 or submit a report using this online form.

Solar Powering Safety

Solar energy is playing an increasing role in safety applications, powering everything from lights at hazardous sites to flood warning systems.

The City of Logan in Queensland has installed solar powered flood warning systems at a number of high-risk sites. The Flooded Road Smart Warning System (FRSWS) flashes a “Road Flooded” warning to motorists that is automatically activated by rising waters. Up until at least late last year, no motorists had driven into floodwaters where these systems are installed.

Given the incredibly important role solar panels play in these scenarios, there should probably be a special category of offence made for theft of panels used in safety applications – and a special place in hell reserved for those who steal them.

Unfortunately, the theft of solar panels from isolated sites is all too common. Last year we reported on a small off-grid solar power system stolen from the toilet block at Stony Point in South Australia. Whether the bastard thieves were ever caught is unknown.

The cost of solar panels and associated equipment has dropped so much over the years. I remember paying somewhere between $800 and $1,000 for a single 12V 100W solar panel in 2008. Today the same capacity panel can be purchased new for under a hundred bucks, and they are worth bugger-all second-hand – so it makes you wonder about the mentality of those who steal them.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. jared clarke says

    What A bunch of dim whited immoral degenerates.

    If anyone whom reads this is genuinely related to the site, I would supply 6 new panels as my donation to help keep Australia safe from the very real threat of bush fires in our own backyard.

    Jared Clarke
    Custom Off Grid Solutions
    02412275172

    • Good on you Jared! True Aussie spirit.
      I, too, cant imagine the reasoning behind the theft. The bogans that stole them wouldn’t have a clue how to use them. But I would love to see how they wired in the door!
      It might be more a case of “I’ll show those renewable Greenie types! I’ll knock off their panels!”

  2. What a bunch of self-righteous, pompous, presumptuous ~ and largely illiterate* ~ bucket-mouthed wankers! If this blog has degenerated to a level that accommodates this sort of shit I’m afraid you’ve lost a reader.

  3. ps. I’m happy to enumerate in detail my reasons for the comments above. Just ask.

  4. Hi
    Recently I got solar panels at our roof and the installer insisted the growatt inverter be installed outside the home near the electric meter, I wanted that to be installed inside the garage. Now I am a bit converned about the safety of the unit as it is very small and a theif can easily remove it at night.
    Is there a way (cage etc) we can secure the unit?
    I also cannot keep the wifi unit plugged in all the times as someone can easily steal it…..any ideas?

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hi Syed

      The good news is solar inverters are almost never stolen. This is because they’re not really worth anything to common criminals. While scrap dealers might take them for free they generally won’t pay for them and they need specialized knowledge to set up and can only be legally connected to the grid by an accredited installer. But if you live in a crime ridden area you can put them in a cage or box or potentially chain them to something. Any container should be ventilated so it won’t overheat and may allow the wifi connection to continue to work. You can remove the wifi antenna if you don’t mind doing without it. Many people stop regularly checking how much their solar system is producing after a couple of months. I do recommend checking it every now and then to make sure it is working properly.

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