Solar panels: lost, found, and replaced


(Photo by Chris Corbin, The Inquirer, 2010)


Forty-one solar panels stolen from the roof of the Life, Health and Sciences building nearly two years ago over two weekends were recently replaced, said Guy Grace, DVC’s manager of buildings and grounds.


Grace said the thieves, who have never been caught, propped ladders against a wall of the building and made their way onto the roof, where they had easy access to the panels.


“They snapped the wires [and], undid them,” Grace said.


On the first trip, the thieves stole 16 solar panels and then came back another weekend and stole 25 more, Grace said.


There was no security patrol on campus past midnight due to budget cuts when the solar panel thefts occured, said Charles Gibson, chief of the college district police services.


The Walnut Creek Police Department aided district police services in the recovery of 25 of the panels, after a sale was attempted on Craigslist.


Grace said 18 additional panels were purchased with insurance money; two extra panels in addition to the 16 which were not recovered.


Diablo Valley, Los Medanos and Contra Costa colleges have been without security patrols after midnight for the past 3.5 years, Gibson said.


Prior to that time, one officer was responsible for the entire district on a 4 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift, and if he was sick or on vacation, no one replaced him, Gibson said.


Local police do patrol the campuses, and respond if an alarm is sounded, Gibson said.



Contact Brian DeAngelis at [email protected]