Hot on the heels of news about Google’s new energy venture comes this sorrowful tale about renewable energy. NPR reports on enterprising thieves who used Google Earth to do evil, and specifically to find California wineries with solar panels for the taking.
Yes, even the criminal underworld has embraced clean tech in the 21st century. Many thieves have reportedly used trucks to simply crash winery gates and steal up to 70 panels at a time. Local sheriff deputies speculate that online tools such as Google Earth might make it particularly easy to locate possible targets — more than 400 panels worth over $1,000 each were stolen from Napa Valley vineyards in 2009.