At least 5 Tesla Supercharger locations targeted across Houston in less than a week

Investigators haven’t pinned down a motive

HOUSTON – At least five Tesla Supercharger locations have been targeted in a string of cable thefts this week.

After KPRC 2′s Gage Goulding reported on the theft of 18 high-voltage cables from a Tesla charging station in Montrose Monday, more and more charging stations across the Houston area are being ransacked, leaving electric vehicle drivers scrambling to power up.

KPRC 2′s Bryce Newberry visited the Yale Street Marketplace Supercharger, the latest charging station to be looted.

The chargers are back up and running now, and they’ve been working all evening. The scene this morning was a different story, as Tesla drivers were notified that the station was closed after its two dozen cables had been clipped.

A damaged Tesla Supercharger in Houston, Texas after thieves cut the high-voltage charging cable. (Copyright 2024 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Israel Robles is one of the many Tesla drivers who had to find a different outlet.

“It’s, like, really inconvenient, because you plan your destinations based on being able to charge on the way,” Robles said.

Here’s all the charging stations we know have been hit so far:

  1. Kipling St - Montrose
  2. Glenbrook Square, 6300 Telephone Rd
  3. 10850 Louetta Rd - Northwest Harris County
  4. Westheimer & Dairy Ashford - West Houston
  5. 195 Yale St - Heights

With this sudden uptick in cable clipping, the question as to who’s committing these crimes—and why—remains unclear.

Some speculate that copper wire theft could be a motive, but this scrapyard owner says these thieves should think again.

Brandi Harleaux owns South Post Oak Recycling Center, a metal scrapyard in southern Houston where thieves might think to sell the insulated copper wire found in a Tesla charging cable.

“There could be folks who think that they can make a lot of money selling to a recycling facility like ours,” Harleaux said.

At Harleaux’s yard, the insulated wire goes for just 70 cents per pound. So hypothetically, 50 pounds of Tesla charging cable would only be worth $30.

Not only is the potential payout underwhelming, but the strenuous documentation process that scrapyards adhere to makes recycling stolen materials especially risky.

“It’s more steps to recycle material here than it is for many people to go to a bank,” Harleaux said.

Sellers are required to sign documents, have their picture taken and even submit their fingerprints. That information is then uploaded to state and local databases. With such stringent surveillance, Harleaux says targeting the charger cables just doesn’t make sense.

“Leave it alone,” she said.

Tonight, the motive of these crimes remains unknown. However, earlier this week, the owner if an electric vehicle repair company told KPRC 2 that his guess is it’s either a copper thief, or someone who has it out for electric vehicles.

“I feel like eventually, they’re going to get caught,” Robles said.

If you have any information that could lead to an arrest, you can submit an anonymous online tip to Crime Stoppers of Houston or you can call 713-222-TIPS (8477).

About the Authors

Bryce Newberry joined KPRC 2 in July 2022. He loves the thrill of breaking news and digging deep on a story that gets people talking.

Michael is a Kingwood native who loves shooting hoops, visiting local breweries and overreacting to Houston sports. He joined the KPRC family in the spring of 2024. He earned his B.A. from Texas A&M University in 2022 and his M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2023.

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