(Host) CVPS says one or more thieves broke into several Bennington area substations yesterday to steal copper wire.
As VPR’s Nina Keck reports, hundreds of customers in Bennington had their power interrupted while the damage was repaired.
(Keck) CVPS spokesmen Steve Costello says thieves cut out copper ground wire at four different substations in Bennington.
He says that while the ground wire was worth less than $200 total, repairs will cost several thousand and he says the incident put a lot of people at risk.
(Costello) "This was really dangerous for a couple reasons. First of all it put the person who did this in extreme peril. They could have been easily injured or killed. And it puts our workers in a very dangerous situation where they’re having to work at a substation that doesn’t have any grounding. And as anyone who knows anything basic about electricity – electricity runs to ground. Without those ground wires, there’s no idea where that power is going to run. And it puts workers in a very dangerous situation."
(Keck) A CVPS electrician performing routine maintenance discovered the damage at the company’s Lyons Street substation.
Customer load was transferred to other substations and the Lyons Street site was safely de-energized.
Costello says CVPS crews discovered additional missing ground wire at the Silk Road, North Bennington and South Bennington substations – and they’re checking other sites as well.
Police are investigating the incidents and Costello says CVPS is offering a $1,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest.
For VPR News, I’m Nina Keck.