Thieves are risking their lives — and possibly the lives of co-op employees — when they steal from the cooperative. A down economy has lead to a rise in thefts of both electricity and copper, which is used in electrical wiring.
Consumers who attempt to reconnect electric service by themselves or tamper with a meter to avoid recording electricity usage risk electrocution, leading to death or serious injuries. Power theft can also result in fires that harm others and unsafe equipment that can injure cooperative employees.
Thieves looking for “easy money” cut through substation fencing to take copper reels, and copper products have been stolen from the co-op’s trucks, transformers, work sites and storage facilities. They sell the metal to scrap dealers for profit.
When copper wiring is stripped from electric lines, transformers and power stations, the thieves tamper with power poles and create a potentially dangerous situation for co-op linemen and themselves. Substation intruders have been electrocuted while attempting to steal copper.
Here’s how you can help prevent injury or death resulting from theft:
- If you suspect someone is stealing power or creating an unsafe situation, report it to Carroll EMC anonymously at 770-830-5770 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Report any unusual activity in or around substations, towers, utility poles, storage sites and other electric utility property by immediately contacting your local law enforcement agency.
- Never climb substation fences, utility poles or towers. Stay away from substations and transformers.