Old News Archive

Bangor Hydro investigates Copper Theft

November 05, 2009 - TRC - By Susan Faloon

Bangor Hydro Electric Company is working to make repairs at a substation in its Northern service territory, after thieves made off with copper wire for a second time. Bangor Hydro crews finished making repairs from the first theft on Friday evening. When crews returned on Monday, it was discovered the thieves had returned to steal the newly-installed copper wire.

“We’re working with the Sheriff’s Department and Maine State Police to find the thieves,” said John Greaves, Safety Officer. “Thieves most recently compromised the integrity of our systems, putting our employees at risk.”

Bangor Hydro has increased surveillance and patrol inspections of its substations in recent years and installed motion detector and surveillance equipment at an increasing number of locations.

“I don’t think the thieves understand that they could face injury or even death by cutting these wires,” said Greaves. “Power lines and substations operate at voltages as high as 345,000 volts, which is 3000 times that of the outlets in a home.”

Stolen copper is very expensive to replace and can result in customer outages when it needs to be replaced. Bangor Hydro and law enforcement agencies are working with scrap metal dealers to catch the thieves as they try to sell the stolen copper wire.

The public is asked to report any suspicious activity at substations to local authorities.

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.