Thieves Are Targeting EV Charging Stations

Estimated read time 2 min read

It seems catalytic converters aren’t the only target out there.

As we’ve covered before, thieves have realized EV chargers are soft targets for easy, quick money. It seems the copper and other materials contained in the cables make those especially attractive, with criminals hitting both residential and public chargers for the quick score. And with those cables selling for anywhere from $300 to well in excess of $1,000 each, plus being easily removed and transported, it’s not hard to see why this trend is only growing.

Waiting at a lonely EV charger looks fun.

Most reports of charging cable theft unsurprisingly are in areas where EV adoption rates are higher. In one report from KTVU in June, thieves cut through the charging cables at a public EVgo station in Oakland, leaving the chargers unusable by motorists for over a week. Fox 11 reported in April that thieves hit a charging station in Van Nuys, making off with 38 of the 40 charging cables.

KIRO 7 in Seattle reported back in January that thieves had hit eight stations run by Seattle City Light in the previous nine months. In August 2022 KOLO 8 reported that thieves in Reno, Nevada had hit several charging stations at different businesses.

On July 13, NBC Los Angeles featured a story about this growing problem, featuring a guy who had his charging cable stolen from his vehicle as it charged in his driveway overnight. Reviewing security footage, he saw a man in a hoodie and mask walk up and take it, riding off on a bike.

The list goes on, but you get the idea: this trend is growing and spreading. EV owners are understandably concerned since getting a new cable can take time, as can replacing severed cables at public stations. If someone relies solely on their electric car to get around, that can be a serious challenge.

There’s a lot of talk about how to prevent EV charger cable theft. Different people are placing their faith in padlocks, motion alerts on cameras, and other security devices. It’s not too dissimilar to the catalytic converter cages and other contraptions we’ve seen people resort to recently.

Ultimately, this is yet another sign of theft run rampant. If criminals don’t try taking your whole car, they might just take parts that are easily removed, sometimes leaving you stranded.

Images via Ford, Kia, GM

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