A scrap metal thief who makes his living by cutting copper wire from the subway system will be released from jail this summer and MTA officials are at defcon 5.
Prince Hayes has an arrest record that dates back to 1989. Most of Mr. Hayes' arrests are from drug charges and scrap theft.
In 2016 the Hayes was busted on reckless endangerment charges after one of his copper robberies caused an explosion inside a tunnel which caused the re-routing of 3 different lines.
Police say Hayes is so well-versed in the art of metal thievery that he heads down into tunnels armed with just pliers, a hacksaw and flashlight. The crafty thief navigates around powerful circuits carrying enough electricity to kill him and hacks loose harmless sections of the wiring while trains are screaming by at full speed.
Authorities believe Mr. Hayes uses the money from his scrap stealing to feed his drug addiction.
Scrap copper can be sold for as much as $5.00 per pound.
The MTA has kept a sharp eye on Mr. Hayes since 2005 because every time he is released from jail he comes back to NYC and begins stripping copper again.
The NYPD notifies the MTA whenever Mr. Hayes is about to be set free so they can have transit cops ready and waiting.
Crimes committed by Hayes have caused dozens of subway delays and thousands of dollars in repairs.
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